Founder and Executive Director
Shelby is Founder and Executive Director of The Human Survival
Project, which he started in early 2022. He is also host of The
Human Survival Podcast (formerly the Joy of Saving the Human
Race), which he started in early 2021. This work followed a few
years of intense study about the catastrophic risks humanity faces.
That research made him incredibly alarmed about the state of the
human race, and convinced that most people don’t understand how
urgent our situation is. He channeled his concern into what has become The Human Survival Project, a global grassroots organization aimed at transforming the United Nations into a body capable of managing humanity’s global existential threats.
Most of Shelby’s career has been influencing public policy to improve people’s lives. He worked for 13 years at the Partnership for Strong Communities, a nonprofit organization in Connecticut (USA) that advocates for ending homelessness, building more affordable housing, and strengthening neighborhoods. During that time, the organization enjoyed substantial growth, and affordable housing and homelessness went from ignored fringe issues to being squarely at the center of policymakers’ concerns. Shelby was fortunate to contribute in a wide variety of ways, including: lobbying federal, state and local officials; research and writing; public speaking; hosting a radio show; creating educational videos; organizing events; and networking and building coalitions. He helped build campaigns that brought together organizations and individuals from many policy areas to secure important legislation and funding. His work contributed to many thousands of Connecticut residents having a decent, affordable home, which feels good.
Other work in Shelby’s life: teacher, congressional intern, home improvement contractor, delivery driver, administrative assistant, grocery clerk, waiter, bartender, warehouse worker, and possibly more things he doesn’t remember. They have all taught him a lot about the human experience.
Shelby earned a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He also did graduate work to earn certification to teach high-school and middle-school social studies.
When he is not working to save humanity, he spends a lot of time in nature, enjoys rich relationships with loved ones and friends, and engages in helpful emotional and spiritual growth practices. His obsession with music may be considered excessive by some.
The Human Survival Project currently has 5 interns working on a wide variety of projects to build the organization. We are beyond grateful to be blessed with their talent and passion for improving the world.
Tomas is currently an undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a distinction in International Relations. Along with his studies, Tomas is President of Model United Nations, a student-run organization based at UCR, where he is responsible for the personal and professional development of fellow members in learning the international system. Through his participation in this organization, Tomas has earned awards from multiple National Model United Nations competitions for his exceptional research and writing skills. As an aspiring political reporter/journalist, Tomas makes considerable contributions to The Highlander, UCR’s student-organized newspaper, writing on geopolitics, climate activism, democratic decline and much more. Tomas contributes to The Human Survival Project’s mission of international reform as a member of its UN Reform Team, and hopes his work can fulfill his passion for informing the public of the importance of the international system.
Tasfia is highly motivated in pursuing a career in humanitarian policy and storytelling through data driven research. She is currently pursuing her Masters in International Affairs at Columbia University - School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Prior to SIPA, her interdisciplinary experiences within law and digital media journalism fueled her passion in supporting migrant rights. During her time at a criminal law firm in Queens, NY she worked with first time offenders on getting their background in order to curate character memos for the Assistant District Attorneys. After feeling unfulfilled in law, she got firsthand experiences at Colibri Center for Human Rights and Safe Horizon - Immigration Law Project. Tasfia is extremely excited to join The Human Survival Project and help close the gap between civil society and government entities when it comes to issues like climate change, migration, and nuclear proliferation.
Brenden is currently studying at Farmingdale State College as a Visual Communications/ Graphic Arts major. He has had a lifelong passion for art and has experience in Graphic Design, Social Media management, Illustration, Photography, Character Design, Animation, Video Editing and much more. He hopes to leave the world a better place to live in than when he found it.
Nicole has earned a B.A. in Political Science with minors in Philosophy, Politics & Economics(PPE) and Mandarin from the University at Buffalo in New York. She is studying for a career in international law, achieving this by having lived abroad in France and Turkey, where she worked with diplomats and embassy members to understand global cooperation. Her research includes institutional and educational alternatives to development as well as governmental politicization of media. She has worked with non-profits before, specifically with a non-profit in Uganda to develop a curriculum to promote functional adult literacy. Currently, Nicole is studying for the LSAT and applying to law schools. When studying proves too much, she goes to the gym, convinces her friends to go hiking or she locks herself in her room with books and her piano. She has joined the Human Survival Project on the Writing and UN Reform Teams. She hopes this internship will help her to understand advocacy from a citizen's point of view and to share that understanding with more people through The Human Survival Project.
Tenielle is a highly motivated and dedicated individual with a passion for humanitarian work and international relations. She is currently pursuing a Master's in International Relations degree at Columbia University as well as a Master's in Public Policy degree at the Hertie School in Berlin, specializing in a field that combines her interests in global development and foreign policy. Tenielle's academic journey began at NYU's Shanghai campus, where she completed her undergraduate studies in 2022. During her time there, she immersed herself in diverse cultural experiences, gaining a deep understanding of the complexities of international relations. Seeking opportunities to engage in humanitarian work, she interned with The Neriah Community Foundation, a renowned organization dedicated to empowering underprivileged communities. Her involvement allowed her to contribute to various projects focused on education, healthcare, and community development. Driven by a desire to understand the implications of foreign investment on workers' rights in West Africa, Tenielle embarked on a research journey to the region. Her extensive fieldwork involved conducting interviews, gathering data, and analyzing the socio-economic dynamics in the context of Sino-Africa relations. Through her research, she shed light on the challenges faced by workers and advocated for better labor standards and protections.
Ben is a Master’s student at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where he is studying International Development. Upon graduating from Loyola University Chicago in 2015, Ben spent five years living and working in the Japanese countryside until the COVID-19 pandemic sent him back to the US. Ben has also conducted two research projects abroad - one in Kenya where he wrote about infrastructure and China’s development programs in Africa, and one in Tunisia where his work involved comparing and contrasting the constitutions between Egypt, Libya and Tunisia pre- and post-Arab Spring. Ben has also spent time studying in Vietnam and Cambodia, and hopes to bring a useful and valuable perspective from his international and research experience to the team. In his free time, Ben enjoys photography and playing soccer.
Anna is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is studying political science, with a focus on international relations and diplomacy. As an ambitious and hardworking student with a passion for academics, Anna brings a strong work ethic and dedication to everything she does. Over the past few years, she has had the opportunity to intern at San Francisco City Hall, Wisconsin OnAir, and the Dane County Board of Supervisors. She was also granted a spot at the Young Diplomat Leadership Fellowship Convention at the Israeli Consulate to the Midwest. In her free time, she enjoys being with friends, reading, and playing the guitar. She is now part of the UN Reform team within The Human Survival Project, researching and proposing improvements to the UN.
Bavon Joshua, also known as Trey, is a film student, actor, and artist from Nairobi, Kenya. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Film Technology and Performing Arts at KCA University, where he has honed his skills in video editing and film directing. He has also participated in the production of various short films, showcasing his interest in the visual art of storytelling. Besides filmmaking, Trey is also passionate about songwriting and performing arts. He enjoys expressing his creativity and emotions through music and acting. Trey is also a philanthropist who likes to participate in charity events and help the less fortunate. He believes in making the world a better and healthier place for everyone.
Sarmad Wali Khan
Sarmad is a political science graduate from Government College University, Pakistan, who aspires to leverage his education to make a meaningful impact in the field of inclusive global governance, human security, conflict resolution and institutional reform. Before joining The Human Survival Project, Sarmad gained valuable experience as a writer for the Borgen Project, and consistently reported on various aspects of global poverty. Currently, he is part of the UN Reform team within The Human Survival Project, actively researching and advocating for UN improvements to address critical global challenges.
Elena is a senior at Avon High School in Avon, Ohio. She is a production assistant for the Human Survival Podcast, and manages the organization of the The Human Survival Project’s digital assets. Outside of the internship, Elena engages with several in- and out-of-school interests, such as flute performance, art, and writing. She was selected as the principal flautist for the 2022 All-National Honors Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, and the Northeast Regional Orchestra. Elena is co-principal flautist for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. She performed in the 2022 All-State Band and 2023 All-State Orchestra. She also loves drawing and has won three Gold Keys from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Elena enjoys reading books and writing stories. She plans to pursue an English major at college and become a screenwriter. She loves learning and speaking new languages. She speaks English, Korean, and French. Alongside her high school curriculum, Elena has taken several dual-enrollment courses at Lorain County Community College to explore her other interests, such as criminal law, ethics, and computer programming. She also holds a spot on their Dean’s List. In her spare time, Elena enjoys watching Marvel movies and playing Minecraft.
Mark Francis Mungai Kuria
Mark brings over three years of experience in non-profit and business sectors and is defined by exceptional communication, organization and teamwork skills. As a resilient Cervical Spinal Cord Injury Warrior, Mark's INTJ-A personality fuels his rational, detail-oriented approach to challenges. Mark boasts proficiency in ICT tools like Salesforce - Experience Cloud, coupled with hard skills in data analysis, marketing, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. His soft skills include adaptability, emotional intelligence, leadership, integrity, and problem-solving. Mark holds a B.A. in Sociology and Economics from the University of Nairobi and certifications in AI and project management. He continues to expand his expertise through courses in building AI. Mark's commitment extends to volunteering; he completed UN courses on ethics, integrity, and cultural awareness and made impactful contributions to organizations like the Polk Institute Foundation and Nethope.org, focusing on marketing, IT and project management. Beyond his professional pursuits, Mark is an enthusiastic volunteer and puzzle solver who enjoys travel, reading, and community involvement. With a passion for learning and a dedication to making a positive impact, Mark thrives on embracing new challenges. He is now part of the communication and writing team at The Human Survival Project.
Cole lives in Connecticut, where he is currently going to college, studying computer science and cybersecurity, and working as a server at a Spanish wine bar. At the Human Survival Project he works as a writer, mainly authoring material on technology. Outside of work and school, he spends his time with friends as well as listening to and playing music, programming, playing video games, and reading, especially about history and world events. He was inspired to join the project by seeing his father’s hard work in founding the organization, and many long conversations with him about the problems humanity faces.
Andrew is a recently graduated animator and motion graphics artist, whose art has won statewide awards and nominations. He spent most of his time in high school creating freelance animations, cartoons and art for a niche audience online, and went on to take 8 art classes. He decided he wanted to further hone in on his skills and pursue a degree in the animated arts. During college, Andrew became more aware of racial and economic inequality and issues facing working class Americans. He wondered why seemingly he could not get ahead despite an American Dream childhood offered by his parents. What he found was more than America at stake, but the entire world, without systemic change to resolve the crises of climate change and inequality. Andrew is now working on The Human Survival Project as a Motion Graphics Artist to help push for awareness of potential threats humanity faces.
Frank is a Hunter College graduate holding a Bachelor's Degree in Film alongside a minor in Media Studies. Through the years, Frank has gained valuable experiences as an intern at The Working Families Party, and through freelancing he has had the opportunities to work with organizations like CPD Action and Jews for Racial & Economic Justice. Currently, he is part of the Video Art Team within The Human Survival Project to bring his passion, creativity, and experiences to tackling the global challenges we face.
Avanthika is a political science and journalism graduate from India. She is a passionate individual with a deep-seated interest in journalism. She has always been captivated by the power of words and their ability to shape narratives, inform the masses, and hold the powerful accountable. Ever since her time as a college student, Avanthika has always been keen on giving back to society. With a keen interest in communications, she hones skills in content creation, public relations, influencer management, and video creation. She also hopes to be a filmmaker one day. She has significantly completed internships that have cultivated strong experiences in international relations, cultural exploration, and community building. Keeping her interests and assets in mind, she looks forward to being able to make this place better and being a small part of a big change. Avanthika is also a content creator on Instagram and YouTube.
Danna Isabella Rengifo
Danna is an Economics student with a research focus at the University of Valle in Cali, Colombia. She is deeply interested and committed to working in the field of social issues, addressing topics such as poverty, inequality, human rights, climate change, and sustainable development. Throughout her academic journey, Danna has participated in research related to the labor, social, and racial exclusion of young former gang members in the marginalized neighborhoods of Cali. She has also been involved in research on renewable energy. Outside of academia, Danna has worked with organizations like Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and Octopus Force, conducting various studies on topics related to innovation, poverty, violence, and sustainable development. Additionally, she has been a member of NGOs such as AIESEC and FENADECO, aiming to contribute to her country's development and promote commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With her background and experience, Danna hopes to make a significant contribution to The Human Survival Project and raise greater awareness about the need to care for the planet, strengthen and reform the UN, and join forces to address the global social challenges that threaten humanity's progress.
Elijah is a student at the University of Central Florida working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with the goal of becoming a motion graphics designer. He brings passion and maximum effort to everything he is a part of. He likes to push his skills to the limit and test his abilities. He played a lot of sports growing up, so that fire carries over; no matter what he does, he will work to achieve it at the highest level. As an artist he takes a very experimental approach: How can we be new? How can we be original? His decision making process is about pushing the cutting edge.
Adam is a recent political science graduate from Saint Francis University with a keen interest in international studies. During his time at the university, Adam demonstrated his research prowess by co-authoring an intelligence report that explored the implications of de-dollarization for numerous international corporations. Adam’s studies also culminated in the publication of an insightful article on western intervention in Haiti and the challenges faced by the nation. While studying in the southwest of France, Adam immersed himself in the French language, ultimately attaining proficiency while offering teaching instruction and cultural exchange at a local high school. Beyond his academic achievements, Adam enjoys playing both the guitar and piano. Motivated by his strong belief in the cause, Adam joined The Human Survival Project with aims to contribute to the project's mission, while honing his research skills and expanding his understanding of complex global issues.
Hassan is a multi-talented individual, thriving in creative and professional roles. With skills in Forex trading, freelance video and audio editing, Urdu voice acting, YouTube content creation, and VFX editing, he excels across various mediums. Holding a Master of Business Administration and having served as an Area Sales Officer for two years, Hassan combines strategic planning and customer relations expertise. Alongside his achievements, his passion for fitness drives regular gym sessions. Hassan's diverse skill set, business acumen, and commitment to personal well-being shape him into a dynamic and accomplished individual.
Bella is a 19 year old film student at Emerson College. She aspires to have a career in 3D animation, but also loves video editing. She cares deeply about the well-being of our Earth, as well as the relationships we all harbor. She hopes that this project can accomplish what it sets out to do, and that the world will grow for the better.
Frances works as a scriptwriter/editor and concept artist for the Human Survival Project. She is a current junior at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is majoring in English with a double minor in Studio Art and History. In her free time, she loves reading, playing the piano, hiking, camping, and playing with her two dogs—Rosie and Mabel. Through the Human Survival Project, she hopes to increase the accessibility of vital information regarding the health and future of our planet.
Josh graduated from California State University Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Having a personal interest in international politics and a desire to make the world a better place, he chose to intern with the Human Survival Project. When he’s not working for his city’s Recreation Department, he is either playing video games or spending time with his friends and family.
Sophia Di Giovanni
Sophia is student currently studying Film & Television at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Alongside her passions for social justice and environmental activism, she enjoys painting, baseball and science fiction. She works on developing and editing videos for The Human Survival Project’s YouTube channel.
Selena is an ambitious animator from El Paso, Texas. With a bachelor's degree from New Mexico State University in animation, she has a passion for the medium. She works diligently to create work that can entertain as well as inspire others in the hopes of working at an animation studio. With knowledge from each part of the animation pipeline, Selena continues to learn from those around her in order to adapt and advance her own skills. With ability in both traditional and digital art she perseveres to meet every deadline she is given.
Adam Lake is currently a graduate student at Brown University, pursuing a PhD in philosophy. After having spent most of his childhood obsessed with fiction books and dogs, he discovered philosophy while getting his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, adding it as a second major on top of his original major in political science. Other experiences along the way have included working as a research assistant, volunteering with a political campaign, and learning (then subsequently forgetting) how to play the violin.
Koen is a political science student from Raleigh, North Carolina focusing on American history, philosophy, and international relations. He has closely studied topics surrounding the applicability of foreign policy tools against various foreign actors. In his free time, he enjoys writing on the political issues of the day, reading novels, and playing music on the piano and drums. He is a journalist and editor at his university’s newspaper, Technician, where he focuses on North Carolina and American politics.
Thea is 19 years old and currently attends the University of Colorado, Boulder. She majors in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and minors in Linguistics and Music. She cares a lot about ecology and learning about animals and the environment, but also cares about the well-being of our planet. Her hobbies include singing and dancing and she has pursued these passions throughout her childhood into today. She has an interest and passion for video editing and graphic design and wishes to pursue this interest and learn as much as she can into the future.