SRMUN is sponsored by an educational not-for-profit corporation, the Southern Regional Model United Nations, Inc. In 2021, the SRMUN Board of Directors made the decision to modernize itself through a restructuring and these changes will take effect on December 1st, 2021. As of December 1, 2021, the Board of Directors for SRMUN, Inc. will comprise a seven-member panel (with a minimum of one faculty advisor) and the Executive Director who are responsible for the overall state of the organization from year to year. Board members are responsible for meeting two or more times a year to conduct organizational business, including reviewing financial statements, creating strategic priorities of the organization, and approving all substantive content for the conference. The Board also selects and trains the Executive Staff of each conference. These offices are the Secretary-General, the Director-General, the Deputy Director-General, and the Under Secretary-General.

Reporting into the Board of Directors is the Advisory Group. The Advisory Group comprises individuals who have applied and been approved by the Board to serve the organization by making recommendations to the Board on all substantive matters relating to SRMUN conferences, including conference theme, committees, and topics selection, the hiring of staff, and the writing of delegate Background Guides.

Any person who has served as Staff, Executive Staff, or in a Faculty Advisor capacity for a minimum of two SRMUN conferences is eligible to run for a seat on the Board of Directors. Approximately half of the Board is appointed per year, to staggered two-year terms. To be considered, a person must turn in a completed application to the Executive Director. A slating committee determined by the Board of Directors will select the incoming Board Members from the pool of applicants each year, prior to December 1st. Any person may submit an application to serve on the Advisory Group. To do so, interested applicants must submit a completed application to a member of the Executive Directorate (Executive Director or any of the Deputy Executive Directors) or a member of the Board of Directors by the end of the first night of the fall or spring conference.

The Executive Director manages daily corporate affairs for SRMUN. The Board of Directors is responsible for the hiring of the Executive Director. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board. In early 2019, the Board conducted a search and hired a Deputy Executive Director for SRMUN Atlanta, SRMUN Charlotte, and Technology, respectively. The new Deputy Executive Directors assumed their new roles at the conclusion of SRMUN Atlanta 2019, and are permanent fixtures of the Advisory Group.

SRMUN Bylaws

SRMUN Board of Directors

Ryan Baerwalde, President -

Ryan holds a BA in Political Science from Valdosta State University and an MA in International Security from the University of Denver. Ryan's first MUN experience was at SRMUN Atlanta 2012 representing the United States in the Security Council. After that, he went on to participate in several other MUN conferences and decided to pursue a career in international relations. Ryan's first time serving on SRMUN staff came in 2015 and since then he has staffed a total of seven conferences while serving in the positions of Assistant Director, Director, Assistant Deputy Director-General of Crises, Deputy Director-General, and Director-General. Ryan was elected to the SRMUN Board of Directors and the Board President position in 2020. Ryan is currently a contractor for the Department of Defense, working as a Management Analyst. When not working or volunteering with SRMUN, Ryan enjoys spending time with his Husky, Odin, and training for powerlifting competitions.

Michael Engelhardt, Member-at-Large -

Michael Engelhardt has joined the board after serving five years on the staff of the SRMUN Atlanta conference, most recently serving as Deputy Director General of SRMUN Atlanta 2020. Michael has a bachelor's degree in History with a minor in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a Master's degree in International Security from the University of Denver. Currently Michael works as a contractor of the U.S. Department of Commerce and lives and works in the Washington, DC area. In his free time, he enjoys watching TV, reading, and traveling.

Punit Patel, Member-at-Large -

Punit received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Kennesaw State University, where he focused on management and marketing. His Model United Nations experience started in high school and continued with as a delegate for Kennesaw State University's team between 2009 and 2011. Since 2010, Punit served various capacities as a SRMUN staff member for both its Atlanta and Charlotte conferences including Assistant Director, Director, Director-General, and Secretary-General. Punit was elected to a Board of Director position in March 2020. He currently lives in New Jersey and works as Assistant Director of Residential Student Services at Kean University.

Dr. Jonathan Miner, Member-at-Large -

Jonathan Miner received his doctorate in International Studies from the University of South Carolina-Columbia in 2007, an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa in 2001, and a J.D. from Drake University Law School in 1994. Jonathan currently serves as an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Georgia (UNG) with specializations in comparative foreign policy, international law, and Middle East/Turkish politics. Prior to coming to UNG, Jonathan was a practicing lawyer in Chicago, IL, and his involvement with Model United Nations grew out of his research and teaching interests in International Law and role as director of a study abroad program in Istanbul, Turkey. This his fourth year teaching Model UN and competing at SRMUN conferences, and first year on the Board of Directors of SRMUN.

Dr. Paige Tan, Member-at-Large -

Dr. Paige Tan is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Radford University. She teaches courses in Comparative Politics and International Relations and is active as the school’s Model United Nations advisor. Her research centers on political parties, democracy, and authoritarianism in the developing nations of Asia. Dr. Tan has contributed articles to Current History, Indonesia, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Asian Journal of Political Science, Inside Indonesia, Education about Asia, and Asian Perspective. Her Ph.D. is in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Matthew Clary, Secretary -

Dr. Matthew Clary is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Auburn University. He teaches courses in International Relations and Comparative Politics, including American foreign and national security policy, Strategic Intelligence, Asian Politics, and Model United Nations. He is also the faculty adviser for Auburn's Model UN team. He is also currently serving as a Faculty Fellow for the Biggio Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Auburn University. His research interests include the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, the Development and Promotion of National Reputations, and US-China Relations in the Context of American foreign policy. Dr. Clary has recently published a book entitled, From Pariah to Phoenix: Improving a National Reputation from the Ashes of the Past (Rowman and LIttlefield, 2020) as well as a chapter on the global governance of the Oceans/Seas in a forthcoming text on Global Environmental Policy. His Ph.D. is in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of Georgia (2014).

Maricruz Retana, Member-at-Large -

Maricruz Retana received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Pace University in Westchester County, New York. There she received a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Management with a concentration in Latin America with minors in Political Science, Spanish, and Peace and Justice Studies, and as well received her Master’s of Public Administration in Government. During her time at Pace, she became involved in Model United Nations and attended various conferences including SRMUN 2009 and 2010, both held in Atlanta, Georgia. Thereafter, she applied to become a staff member and has been involved with SRMUN ever since. During her tenure, she has served in various different roles at both the Atlanta and Charlotte conferences including as an Assistant Director, Director, Deputy Director-General, Director-General and lastly as Secretary-General for a continuous two-year appointment at Charlotte 2017 and 2018. Maricruz was elected to a Board Position at the close of SRMUN Charlotte 2018. Maricruz currently lives in upstate New York and works as an employee for the federal government and enjoys her position as a public servant.

Dr. Cindy Combs, Founding Member -

Cindy Combs received her doctorate in Political Science from George Washington University in Washington, DC in 1984. She is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, teaching at the University since 1988. She became the faculty advisor for the University's Model UN organization in 1990. Cindy has served as a member of the SRMUN Board of Directors since the conference conception in 1991, as well as on the board of the National Model UN and the Carolinas Model UN Conferences. Dr. Combs is the author of the text, Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century, (Prentice-Hall, in its 4th edition, 2006), and with Martin Slann has co-edited the Encyclopedia of Terrorism (Facts on File, revised edition, 2007). She has been the recipient of the Bank of America Teaching Award (1997), the Bonnie Cone Distinguished Professorship of Teaching (2003), and in 2005 the Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year for North Carolina Award. She has served as a member of a national Task Force on Terrorism; a consultant for local, state, regional, and national law enforcement agencies on terrorism; and a resource person for more than eighteen years with a wide range of educational, religious and media groups seeking to deal with the role of terrorism in the contemporary world.

Dr. Martin Slann, Founding Member -

Martin Slann received his doctorate in political science from the University of Georgia. He is a long-time member of the American and Midwest Political Science Associations. He is a former member and chair of the political science faculty at Clemson University and a former faculty member and Director of Academic Affairs at Pennsylvania State University Wilkes-Barre. He has served as the chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Macon State College. After Macon State, Martin moved to UNC Pembroke but now works at The University of Texas at Tyler. Dr. Slann has been the faculty advisor for the Model United Nations student organization at all three institutions. With Cindy Combs, he has co-edited the Encyclopedia of Terrorism (Facts on File, revised edition, 2007) and is the author of Introduction to Politics: Governments and Nations in the Twenty-First Century, 4th ed. (Thomson Learning, 2006). He has received awards for advisement excellence at Clemson University and Penn State. Teaching and research interests include Middle East Politics and political terrorism. Along with Cindy Combs, Dr. Slann has served on the SRMUN Board of Directors since the conference's genesis in 1991.

Michael Oleaga, Executive Director -

Michael Oleaga is a New York City-based multimedia journalist, and he’s the Executive Director of SRMUN Inc. He also furthers the nonprofit organization's online and social media. He has been involved with SRMUN since 2009, while an undergraduate student for Pace University at Pleasantville. Between 2012 and 2017, he was a staff member for the organization’s Atlanta and Charlotte conferences and served various roles including Research Assistant, Assistant Director, Director, Deputy-Director General, and Director-General. Outside of SRMUN, Michael received a Bachelor’s degree for Communication Art & Journalism and Political Science with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies. During his journalism career, he has interviewed national and international political leaders, presidential candidates, United Nations diplomats, celebrities, and other public figures.

Jordin Dickerson, Deputy Executive Director of Atlanta -

Jordin received her undergraduate degree in History and Political Science with a Concentration in International Relations from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP). She will earn her J.D. from the University of Virginia in May 2020 and will begin practicing at the Mecklenburg County Public Defender's Office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jordin has been involved with SRMUN since 2014 and has staffed both the Atlanta and Charlotte conferences. Her previous SRMUN roles have included Assistant Director, Director, Deputy Director-General, and Secretary-General. Jordin assumed the role of Deputy Executive Director for Atlanta in November 2019 and will hold the position for two years. Currently, Jordin serves as adjunct faculty at UNCP in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

Geraldine Galue, Deputy Executive Director of Technology -

Geraldine was born and raised in Venezuela before moving to the United States in 2008 to pursue her undergraduate degree. She holds a BBA in International Business with a minor in French from Kennesaw State University. Geraldine first became involved with SRMUN in 2009 as a delegate for KSU's Model United Nations team. She competed for several years in national and international conferences such as SRMUN, NMUN, and AIMUN. In addition, she also taught, prepared and trained delegates for conferences at regional and international levels, and also served various roles on the executive board of the simulation teams at KSU. Geraldine has been on SRMUN staff since 2015, and currently helps manage the SRMUN website and web applications. She currently works as a software developer.