Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Latin American Studies, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Bachelor’s Degree in Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Oxford University, United Kingdom


English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian

I love the idea of working anywhere in the world. I have always been especially attracted to the range of functions at the United Nations: political affairs, human rights, humanitarian, and development issues. When I first joined the Organization, it was at the age of 25 as a United Nations Volunteer (UNV). I was just coming out of college at the time, and I was looking for a global opportunity where I could use my skills in the areas of languages and political science.

My UNV job as a Public Information Officer in East Timor provided me with many opportunities to use these skills. I also felt fulfilled by the fact that I would actually be able to work with people. At the time, East Timor was emerging from over 25 years of tensions that had arisen due to disputed governance and we were there to help preserve peace while political options which included self-determination were being initiated in the territory. It was critical to communicate the mandates of the Organization with the local community.

This experience was followed with a few short-term consultancy contracts in both Afghanistan and Pakistan helping the countries rebuild after civil strife. I joined the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in 2005, and have been a part of this team to this day. Through our advocacy for humanitarian financing, OCHA is saving lives.

I am assigned to highly hazardous locations, which translates into the challenge of being away from my family. But the exchange is working a highly rewarding job. Moreover, between rest and recuperation and regular leave, this typically means that I spend eight weeks at the duty station, and three weeks on leave.

What inspires me in my work is knowing that what I write and say can help mobilize our donors and provide money for life-saving assistance. The core reality is that at the end of the day people will die if they do not eat. Our work can help influence the decisions of both governments and opposition groups and thus help humanitarian operations. This is extremely inspiring and rewarding. We see results in the number of lives that are saved.

The first thing I do when I come in to work in the morning is to check the progress of pending deliverables, such as bulletins, press releases, and video productions. I usually spend much of the morning in meetings with journalists, other agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Afternoons are typically spent writing and editing documents, or planning for my next trip to the field. After dinner, I am often busy on the telephone with colleagues in New York.

When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I like the simple things in life, like walking around, discussing politics and philosophy, and eating out. I also really enjoy cooking and have been told I am a very good cook. Here in Kinshasa, I love the people, the music, and the food. And knowing that humanitarian crisis is not far away, the feeling of helping the people has always been highly rewarding.

If you want to make a difference to the future of the world by working for the United Nations, be prepared for particularly challenging work, and unparalleled professional satisfaction. The feeling of being employed by an Organization that reports to every single Member State, which in turn reports to its citizens, is unique. That means that I am in effect working for, almost every human being on earth.

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