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United Nations Observers

In 1945, at the UN Charter Conference, the League of Women Voters was invited by President Harry Truman to serve as a consultant to the U.S. delegation. Since that time, the League has continued its presence at the United Nations through its one official and two alternate observers. In July 1997, the League was granted Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which provides the opportunity to make interventions on issues the League supports.  Consultative status allows the League to:  make formal oral or written statements to the UN and be consulted by the UN in areas which the League has expertise.

Learn more about the history of the League and the United Nations.
Learn more about the role of the UN Observer.
Contact the UN Observers at [email protected]

Current LWVUS UN Observers:

Rosalee Keech, Chief Observer to the United Nations

Rosalee Keech

Rosalee Keech represents the LWVUS as Observer to the United Nations (UN) since 2011. She works with UN Agencies, Member States (countries) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to further LWVUS policies. Specifically, she has developed multiple programs at the UN on increasing women’s leadership and participation in democratic political processes, promoting democracy around the world, and preventing violence against all women and girls. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) and the Board of Trustees of the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF), serving from 2014-16.

Ms. Keech is a retired Information Officer with more than 30 years of experience in developing and executing system strategies for the private sector. She has leveraged her private sector experience in developing strategies for use at the UN and by governmental agencies. Specifically, she has developed a comprehensive strategy for preventing exploitation of women and children at major events. By working in conjunction with the UN, the strategy has been adopted and implemented by governments, both foreign and domestic.

As a result of her work at the United Nations, Ms. Keech currently serves as a member of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force, as well as chair of its Outreach and Awareness and Business/Industry Advisory Committees. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Directors at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh and serves on its Government Affairs Committee. Ms. Keech is also on the Advisory Board for the International Center for Assault Prevention. Past work includes serving as the governor appointee to the NJ Board of Professional Planners, Executive Committee for NGO Committee on the Status of Women/New York and Steering Committee of the Working Group on Girls, Inc. (WGG) and chair of WGG’s Girls Against Violence taskforce.

Ms. Keech graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Economics and Education and an MBA in Finance from New York University.

Michelle Dorsey

Dr. Michelle Dorsey has been serving as a United Nations Observer for the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) since 2018, with a primary focus on universal health care. Highlights of her tenure include attending the 2018 United Nations General Assembly high-level meetings on health care, multiple sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), and the 23rd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany. Dr. Dorsey serves as a Conference Focal Point for CSW and represents LWVUS on the UN Women’s Major Group. Her past League roles include President of LWV of Metropolitan Phoenix and Vice President of LWV of Arizona. A full-time practicing physician, Dr. Dorsey has a passion for delivering health care to underserved communities, in particular providing breast imaging to women in the US and abroad. She volunteers her time to develop radiology resources and teach in developing countries, with a focus on women’s health. Dr. Dorsey is a fellowship-trained, board-certified diagnostic radiologist who recently completed an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Author of multiple publications and speaker at national and international events, Dr. Dorsey has received many honors including being named to the Consumers’ Research Council of America’s “Guide to America’s Top Physicians.” In 2019, she received a Service to the Citizen Award for excellence in the delivery of services that impact the public’s lives.

Jill Follows

Jill Follows, Esquire has been serving as a United Nations Observer for the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) since 2017, with a portfolio emphasizing human rights monitoring, outreach and education. She reports on meetings including the 2019 High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, annual sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and briefings by the Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and in Practice. Jill engages with convention delegates, local and state leagues, and League Google groups to expand awareness of the League’s role at the UN. Her outreach efforts produced a video at CSW63 on UN Sustainable Development Goals, created a grassroots Human Rights Team to monitor and publish treaty reviews on the synergies between the League and UN Human Rights initiatives, and developed a searchable webpage on the League’s human rights history and priorities. Her past League roles include candidate debate moderator, state convention representative, and UN issues presenter.

Follows received her Master of Science in Nursing from Syracuse University and Juris Doctor from Villanova Law School. She was a community health nurse for five years and a civil trial attorney for 25 years. She was appointed Judge Pro Tempore by the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The American Association of Nurse Attorneys awarded Jill its Outstanding Advocate Award. Jill is the author of many medical-legal publications, presenter at national and international events, and formerly university faculty. She moved her law practice to Washington DC and combined it with health care policy work on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) medical device regulation. She has testified twice before the FDA expert panel on medical and surgical devices, worked with a National Institutes of Health committee on the development of a consumer booklet on breast cancer and presented the US Department of Health and Human Services with proposals for inclusion of insurance coverage under the ACA for women experiencing complications from cosmetic surgery. Her other volunteer work includes service as a Labor and Delivery Room companion at a metropolitan DC hospital.

Judith Schachter

Judith (Judy) Schachter has been a member of the LWVUS UN Observer Corps since 2012. Her activities as a League Observer have been associated with member states and with two NGOs whose purposes correspond to those of the LWV, namely anti-human trafficking and the specific needs of the girl-child. Previous to her involvement as a member of the LWVUS UN Observer Corps, Ms. Schachter had leadership roles in NJ local Leagues and on the LWVNJ state board.

She is a board member of the NGO (Non Governmental Organization) Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons (UN language for human trafficking) which works to educate member states of the UN on the scourge and extent of human trafficking, both sexual and labor (and organ) trafficking. As a member of the NGO Working Group on Girls (and treasurer for 4 years), Ms. Schachter which works to educate UN member states on the specific needs of the girl child, such as the fight against FGM (female genital mutilation), early and forced marriage (many girls are married as young as 13), bathroom facilities at schools so that girls who are menstruating have privacy, safe roads for girls to travel on their way to school, and encouragement of education beyond elementary school, among other special girl-centered needs.

As a member of the LWVUS- UN Observer Corps, she is often called upon to explain that the UN is much more than the decisions and pronouncements of the Security Council and that UN agencies have done and continue to do much good around the world.

Beyond League work, she has been a member of her local Board of Education and the president of a special Board of Education for a public school for special-needs teens, as well as on the board of a special residential home for teens who left or were kicked out of their homes.

Ms. Schachter was graduated with a BA from Mt. Holyoke College.

Robin Tokmakian

Robin Tokmakian represents the LWVUS as a member of the Observer Corps to the United Nations with an emphasis on Climate issues, beginning in 2017. Her primary work is to monitor the UN activities of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat based in Bonn, Germany. Part of her responsibilities is to organize observer delegates to the annual Conference of the Parties (COP), the primary venue for negotiating the implementation of the Paris agreement. Her League participation has included being president of the LWV of Monterey County (CA), an LWV California board member, and a member of LWVUS task forces on international trade and climate change (current). She is currently a member of LWV Portland, OR, where she serves as the LWV Oregon’s representative to the NW Energy Coalition.

Ms. Tokmakian has a BA in Physics, an MS in Oceanography, and a PhD in Physical Oceanography and is, by profession, a physical oceanographer with experience in both teaching and research in the areas of global ocean and climate modeling, remote sensing of the oceans, and model uncertainty.