As a way to promote the incredible work our Host Organizations are doing and to spread the word of the substantial impact Atlas Corps Fellows has on their teams, we are sharing a short feature on Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and its experience with Atlas Corps, and its Fellow, Niccolò Martelli (Italy, Class 35).

Host Organization: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights works with local activists to protect and promote human rights in the United States and globally. At RFK Human Rights, attorneys, advocates, entrepreneurs, writers, and more work together for promoting social justice and human rights.


Fellow: Niccolò Martelli (Class 35, Italy)

At Atlas Corps, we have a tradition of stating our “Five Facts” when introducing ourselves to new people. What are your five facts?

Name: Niccolò MartelliHometown: Florence, Italy

Role at Organization: Workplace Dignity Fellow

Social Issue/Interest Area: Healthcare issues all over the world

Fun fact: My friends say that when I walk, I look like Liam Gallagher from Oasis

What is your role at your Host Organization?

As a Workplace Dignity Fellow at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, I help my supervisor, Senior Vice President Jeffrey Siminoff. We build out the Advisory Council for Workplace Dignity, conduct academic research on dignity at work, as well as organize meetings and calls.

How has your experience with your Host Organization impacted your perspective? What has the organization taught you?

My experience with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights definitely had a huge impact on my life. I learned how important it is to have a strong work ethic, how to gain confidence speaking in front of important people, how to use many digital tools (Salesforce, for instance), and how every single social issue is interrelated.

How has your experience with your supervisor impacted your perspective? What has your supervisor taught you?

I couldn’t have been happier working with Jeffrey. His advice has helped me in so many situations and shown me how to approach different problems from a corporate perspective. His actionable examples of how to be more respectful and inclusive are things I’ve applied to both my work for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and in my personal life as well. He is always free to talk or even grab a meal and he doesn’t make you feel weird because of the difference between his and my role.

How will you build upon the skills and knowledge gained during your Fellowship once you return to your home country? How will your experience in the United States help you pursue your goals in the future?
I hope to continue working alongside Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights to ensure workers’ rights all over the world. I will offer my support whenever needed and I will apply everything I learned in the United States to pursue my Master of Science in Environmental Sciences.


Fellow Supervisor: Jeffrey Siminoff

At Atlas Corps, we have a tradition of stating our “Five Facts” when introducing ourselves to new people. What are your five facts?

Name: Jeffrey Siminoff

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Role at Organization: Senior Vice President, Workplace Dignity

Social Issue/Interest Area: Inclusion, Diversity, and Workplace Culture

Fun fact: My friends call me the “concierge” because of my passions around
food and travel.

Why did you decide to host an Atlas Corps Fellow?

At Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, we want to ensure that we are bringing different perspectives to our work. Niccolò contributes to that, both generationally and from a global point of view.

Why did you choose your Fellow?

Niccolò took initiative and had a clear passion to make a difference. He built a relationship with a member of our Board of Directors and showed a strong interest and personal stake in the work that we are advancing. He also showed inherent kindness, warmth, curiosity and a can-do spirit that we knew would add value to our work and our teams.

How has your Fellow contributed to your team? How has his presence had an impact on your team’s dynamic?

He fully contributes as a member of the team. Whether organizing meetings, analyzing and summarizing topic trends or providing input on strategy, Niccolò has helped move our work forward and has had the confidence to challenge thinking or expand how certain issues are viewed.

How will your Fellow’s contributions and insights impact your organization in the long run?

Niccolò’s contributions are helping to form the foundation of our Workplace Dignity program, a new initiative at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights bridging our long-standing, international human rights work and how these principles apply to the workplace. When we look back on where we started, it will be with an appreciative eye toward Niccolò’s involvement. In addition, we will always value the non-U.S. point of view that Niccolò has brought to our work.

What has your Fellow taught you? Have you learned anything special about their culture?

We have great and open discussions about his home country from local politics to never-enough insights about food and dining (he pointed me and my family in great directions for a trip to Italy last summer!). More than anything, he’s become a friend and someone whose points of view I value. Coming from a different country and having a primary language that is not English, he has also helped me to become – I hope – a better listener.


More about Atlas Corps

Atlas Corps partners with mission-driven organizations (nonprofit, private, and government) to facilitate a professional exchange program for the world’s best emerging social change leaders to live and serve in the United States for a 12-month Fellowship. The Atlas Corps network currently includes more than 750 professionals from 95 countries who have served at 300 organizations.

Interested in becoming a Host Organization for an Atlas Corps Fellow? Contact Brittany Gropp at brittany@atlascorps.org.