Liuba Grechen Shirley

New York, NY

Liuba Grechen serves as the Director of Operations, Economic Development and Africa Programs at New York University, across NYU's Development Research Institute, Africa House, NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Technology and Economic Development, and the Ghana Research Center. Liuba manages outreach and research activities in the area of smallholder agriculture and the role and potential of technology in economic development throughout Africa.

Previously, Liuba served as Director of Membership for the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), where she directed membership programs and developed national strategies and campaigns to mobilize members to educate their communities about the critical work of the UN and to lobby Congress for strong American leadership at the UN. In 2010 she managed the merger of UNA-USA and the UN Foundation, which created the single-largest network of American advocates for the UN.

Liuba examined the UN Fourth World Conference on Women and investigated the conference’s effect on the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation. Her research greatly contributed to a chapter on Global Citizenship in International Organizations and Democracy. She led a delegation of UNA members to the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women and created a strategy to educate members about women’s issues and UN actions.

In 2009, she created Sweet Cheeks Vegan Bakery, a catering and wholesale company dedicated to baking compassionate sweets while advocating for animal rights. SCVB was featured in VegNews Magazine, its products were voted “staff pick,” and the company was accepted into Hot Bread Kitchen’s food entrepreneur incubator program.

Liuba has worked for the Carpathian Foundation, where she co-founded an initiative to increase cooperation and promote greater synergies among the public, private, and non-profit sectors to attract funds to local development efforts in Eastern Europe. She holds a BA in Politics and Russian from NYU and is pursuing her MBA with a specialization in Economics and Social Innovation & Impact at NYU Stern School of Business.