Mara Kronenfeld joined UNRWA USA in February 2020 as its new Executive Director. In this role, Mara leads a team of 8 in the United States to educate the American public about the plight of Palestine refugees and raise funds for UNRWA’s critical programs in the Middle East.
Having focused most of her career on international development, Mara has over 15 years of experience designing, implementing, and leading youth development programming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Mara has extensive leadership experience in youth development with a strong focus on program design and development, organizational capacity strengthening, and multi-sectoral partnership cultivation and collaboration.
Mara previously served as Regional Director of MENA and Eurasia programs at the International Youth Foundation (IYF) where she worked for over a decade. She earlier held positions at AMIDEAST and the American University in Cairo. At AMIDEAST, Mara managed corporate, foundation, and individual fundraising efforts and managed the Fulbright scholarship program for students from the MENA region. Mara was a U.S. Fulbright grantee to Syria herself between 2001 and 2003 and while in Syria, managed a U.S. State Department-funded teacher training project and UNRWA’s English Language Club for Palestinian vocational students.
Mara holds a Masters Degree in Near Eastern Studies from New York University and a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from Stanford University.