Meet Our Alumni

Meet our alumni

UWC-USA alumni live the UWC mission by bringing people together. While on campus they learn to forge partnerships on the playing fields, in the mountains, and in classrooms with other teenagers from other cultures and backgrounds. This helps them build teams and coalitions on the local, regional, national, and global stage.

Students who attend UWC-USA want to become leaders and changemakers. But we understand that leaders and changemakers can work in schools or lead governments. They can be entrepreneurs or diplomats, artists or farmers, journalists or programmers. In every profession or calling there are opportunities to bring people together and build bridges of understanding.

It’s what our alumni do.

“Balance is mediocre. Commit or don't bother. You can't please everyone with a little of this or that. Go fully for what you want and get cleanly to the point.”

Bushan Tuladhar

’87 (Nepal)

Bushan Tuladhar ’87 (Nepal)

“Green is not just a color; it is an attitude. It is a way you see life, it is a way you live life.” Bushan Tuladhar returned to Nepal after attending UWC-USA and Cornell to help his home country develop the attitude and the vision that can make a greener planet. His work has focused on improving public transportation, educating his Nepali countrymates about the value of living a greener life, and advocating for policies that reduce pollution. He speaks eloquently on Youtube and in his own radio program about the simple fact that in every country, Nepal included, the means of living greener already exists. What we need, he argues, is the will and the vision to make it happen.




B.S. Civil Engineering, Cornell University

M.E. Environmental Engineering, Cornell University

Current Employment:

Chief technical advisor for South Asia for UN-Habitat’s Urban Basic Services Branch

Noor Cornelissen

'10 (The Netherlands)

Noor Cornelissen ’10 (The Netherlands) simply thinks about others. Whether working with victims of sexual violence in Kenya, with refugees in Uganda, or on a search and rescue ship in the Mediterranean under the auspices of Médecins Sans Frontières, Noor unfailingly seeks to help others do better and be better. Addressing the UWC-USA community during a commencement speech in 2018, Noor reminded the graduates about the challenges we face in the world today, while encouraging everyone in attendance to work together and hope together. “The world is damaged,” she said, “but not beyond repair. You are needed.”




B.A. International Politics & History, Jacobs University

M.A. International Development, Geneva Graduate Institute

Current Employment:

Research Intern UNAIDS


Len Necefer

'07 (USA)

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Kansas

Ph.D. Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Current Employment:
Founder & CEO, NativesOutdoors
Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

Dr. Len Necefer has become one of the most prominent young voices in the fight to conserve our public lands and monuments, as well as a passionate advocate for indiginous communities. Through his apparel company NativesOutdoors, Len has worked to highlight the lack of representation for native peoples in the outdoor industry. Len has also conducted research for the EPA, NASA’s Glenn Research Center, and Sandia National Laboratories. In his free time, Len is an explorer and adventurer who enjoys climbing, mountaineering, cycling, and amatuer racecar driving.


Dr. Julie Hall

'84 (United Kingdom)

M.D. St. Thomas’s Medical School
M.PH. James Cook University

Current Employment:
Chief of Staff & Director of the Office of the Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Dr. Julie Hall got her start in public health after graduating UWC, as a volunteer with the Phillipine Red Cross, doing eyesight screening for children in some of the poorest areas of Baguio City — and she hasn’t slowed down since. Before being named as Chief of Staff to the IFRC, Dr. Hall played a major role in the response to the SARS and avian flu outbreaks in China and led the global health response to Typhoon Haiyan which devastated the Philippines in 2013. In June, 2007 Dr. Hall was awarded a MBE (Member of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List.


René Celaya

'88 (USA)

Rene Celaya ‘88 is vice president for humanitarian programs at Sesame Workshop. He leads an innovative collaboration between Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee to deliver urgent early childhood development support to families through classrooms and health clinics. The effort also involves the all-new Arabic-language Sesame TV show Ahlan Simsim, which is broadcast in 20 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Rene’s UWC-USA experience shaped his professional path towards a career of more than 25 years in international development work as he became a leader in humanitarian strategy and practice. He has supported, implemented and led programs that created social and economic opportunities for vulnerable families in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. 


Ruben Ayala

'92 (Panama)

A UWC-USA graduate who puts smiles on the faces of some of the most underserved children around the world was awarded the Giulio Regeni Alumni Impact Award in 2021.

Dr. Ruben Ayala ‘92 is chief medical officer for Operation Smile, which provides life-saving reconstructive cleft palate surgeries.

“It’s a huge honor,” said Dr. Ayala. “I can’t even describe it. I was surprised, honored and overwhelmed and didn’t expect this at all.”

A public health physician from Panama with more than 25 years of experience in advocacy and humanitarian assistance, he has planned, executed and overseen surgical programs in more than 40 countries. Dr. Ayala also oversaw the establishment of Operation Smile foundations in low- and middle-income countries to patients affected by cleft conditions.


More Alumni