Nationality

Brunei Darussalam

Education

Master's Degree in Business Administration, Imperial College, University of London, United Kingdom

Bachelor's Degree in Law, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
 
Called to the English Bar at Middle Temple, London, United Kingdom

Languages

English, Malay, Mandarin

I became the first person from the tiny, peaceful and prosperous Southeast Asian country of Brunei Darussalam to join the United Nations in 2006, coming through the National Competitive Recruitment Examination system.

Prior to joining the Organization, I had a highly challenging and varied career in my home country focused on facilitating and developing partnerships between the private and public sector entities. I headed the Legal and Joint Venture Section at the Brunei Economic Development Board, overseeing the Board’s legal and strategic relationships with international direct investors and helping to write a major legislation for an industrial zone.

Before that, I was a special assistant to a prominent business leader in Brunei, where I helped to run an annual business conference in Southeast Asia called the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) 100 and served as the Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council.

When the opportunity came to serve humanity, I left the life of business executive behind me, to use my abilities and experience for a larger and noble purpose. I also wanted to expand my horizons and be open to opportunities that come with working with a multicultural Organization.

It is never an easy transition from being a business executive to being a civil service employee. But my belief in the Organization’s mission to make a positive contribution to humanity helped me. One thing we have to have in common with the private sector is the professional attitude we bring to the job: getting every job - big or small - done and done well.

I serve as a Supply Officer in the Contract Compliance and Performance Management Unit of the Supply Section in the Department of Field Support (DFS). The Department provides United Nations field missions - 15 peacekeeping and 16 special political missions - with the resources they need to operate. It also ensures that peacekeepers have all the logistics and supplies they need to live and work.

The Supply Section helps DFS to manage its contracts with external contractors. The contracts under the ultimate purview of the Section amount to more than US$1 billion per annum, with the Logistics Supply Division being responsible for overseeing between $2.5 billion to $3 billion annually.

Our team finds ways of improving how the Department’s contracts are structured and managed at implementation, reviewing the contract process, and establishing better procedures with the ultimate goal of ensuring service delivery and managing our risks, liabilities as well as costs.

For instance, we are currently working on standardizing our construction contracts to ensure that every DFS issued contract, irrespective of project or location, contains the same comprehensive set of legal tools to manage the risks and performance of projects. This minimizes legal uncertainties, introduces industry best practices in contract management and makes us competitive in the marketplace.

I also wear an additional hat as the Alternate Legal Policy Advisor to the Director of Logistics Support Division’s front office. This job places a premium on effective communications skills. I liaise with different internal entities – the Office of Legal Affairs, the Procurement Division and the Office of the Controller - on various undertakings between DFS and other United Nations agencies and external contractors. I also pay due diligence to all legal documents coming through the Director’s office to essentially prevent delays in project implementation.

Like many young professionals with families, the decision to join the United Nations was not just a career choice: It was an important decision for my whole family. My wife and I relocated to New York with our three and five year old daughters. What we found was a city teeming with small children and young families.

My girls attend the excellent United Nations International School. Just as I enjoy working with colleagues from across the world, they enjoy learning with children from every culture and nationality. When my daughters think of Brazil or Bangladesh, they think of their classmates Rafa and Pratchi instead of people from abstract foreign nations.

If you get the opportunity to work with the United Nations, you will find an entity that provides a varied career path because there are many activities and programmes that the Organization is involved in. Be really good at what you do before coming on board: the United Nations needs people who can inject new ideas and fresh perspectives.

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