HDI — NYC (HQ)
Ralph L. Cwerman is President and Chief Executive Officer, co-Founder and Board Member of the Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI), a private non-governmental organization dedicated to enhancing ties between the US Congress and the United Nations. Under Mr. Cwerman’s leadership, the Institute has brought hundreds of Members of Congress and their senior staff to UN Headquarters for private briefings.
The Humpty Dumpty Institute also applies innovative solutions to tough humanitarian problems around the world. Since 2006, Humpty Dumpty has implemented over $20 million worth of large-scale humanitarian development projects in over 10 countries around the world with a particular focus on landmine clearance, food security and healthcare. During this time, Humpty Dumpty has cleared over 22 million square meters of land in heavily-mined countries around the world and has worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on multi-million dollar school feeding and other agricultural development programs in some of the poorest countries around the globe.
Concurrently, Mr. Cwerman served for more than a decade as senior strategic advisor to billionaire philanthropist, Constance Milstein, and led her international philanthropic program, providing vision and cohesion to her substantial "giving program."
Previously, Mr. Cwerman served as Senior Vice-President of MUUS Asset Management Company LLC, a privately owned investment firm in New York City specializing in solar energy enterprises and property development. He traveled extensively on behalf of one of the company's main assets, Solar Outdoor Lighting, Inc. (SOL), the largest outdoor solar lighting company in the world. He also served as SOL’s Senior Vice-President and was a Member of SOL’s Board of Directors. During his tenure at MUUS Asset Management Company, Mr. Cwerman spearheaded several multi-million dollar solar rural electrification projects in Sub-Sahara Africa and Latin America. He also served on the Export-Import Bank's prestigious "Sub-Sahara Africa Committee."
From 1992-1998, Mr. Cwerman served as Senior Vice President of the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA), where he convened special fact-finding missions for corporate executives to 15 UN peacekeeping operations in 28 countries: He also conceived and edited the annual publication How to Do Business with the United Nations: A Complete Guide to UN Procurement and its Annual Updates. Mr. Cwerman also helped to establish the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, one of the only graduate programs in the country exclusively focused on UN and multilateral issues. And Mr. Cwerman initiated the Adopt-A-Minefield program, one of the most successful landmine partnerships in the country. This program has raised over $30 million since its inception in 1997.Ralph.Cwerman@theHDI.org
Mr. Merante is responsible for managing the Institute's strategic relations with the U.S. Government, including the U.S. Congress, the United Nations and its affiliated agencies, and the Institute's broad network of supporters and partners.
Prior to joining Humpty Dumpty, Mr. Merante, a career U.S. Foreign Service Officer, served in Europe, Africa, and Asia, and his last overseas post was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican. His domestic assignments included both European Affairs and Public Diplomacy. He also served at U.S. Mission to the United Nations from 1986 to 1989, and from 2004 to 2006.
Mr. Merante holds a B.A. in Political Science from Fordham University, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a M.S. in Resources Management from the National Defense University.
Steve Ginther joined the Humpty Dumpty Institute as the Program Director for Mine Action in February 2008. As a Program Director, Steve provides overall programmatic, operational and logistic support to HDI’s programs in Sri Lanka, Laos and Vietnam. He is also responsible for research and development of new grant opportunities in mine action and food security.
He joined HDI after working in international development program management with various NGO’s such as the Global Fund for Children, International Rescue Committee, CARE, and Partners of the Americas, in Latin America and Central Asia.
He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala and received an MSc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries, in 1993 and a BA in International Relations from the University of Colorado in 1989.
Boris Shapoval joined the Humpty Dumpty Institute as an intern in fall 2011, while finishing his BA in Political Science and Hispanic Studies at Bernard Baruch College, The City University of New York.
He returned to Humpty Dumpty as a Program Manager for U.S.-U.N. Relations in January 2012. As a Program Manager, Boris promotes dialogue between U.S. Congressional Members and members of the United Nations through bipartisan delegations. His responsibilities also include highlighting the diversity and culture of the United States by organizing delegations to various parts of the country for members of the U.N. Diplomatic Corps. Boris is a U.S. Air Force veteran and prior to HDI he worked for Northrop Grumman as a Financial Manager's Assistant. Boris is fluent in Russian and Ukrainian.
Namal has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector in Sri Lanka. Prior to joining HDI, Namal was an Administrator at the Danish Development Cooperation Office (DANIDA).
Namal has a degree in Human Resources from the Institute of Personnel Management of Sri Lanka. Namal is a Sri Lankan national and resides in a suburb of Colombo.