Nationality

Antigua and Barbuda

Education

Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, Lehman College, City University of New York, United States

Languages

English

Working in human resources is my calling. By nature, I am curious and interested in people, and I like reading everything I come across. This is why I enjoy my job of solving staff issues and making sure the interpretation of administrative policy is consistent.

In my current role, I manage the full spectrum of human resources services - recruitment, entitlements, staff development, and medical services – of the 400 staff of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The Commission, one of the five United Nations regional offices, works to promote regional cooperation and integration among its 14-Member States.

As Chief of the Human Resources Management Section, my daily responsibilities are extremely varied. I can be either providing policy advice to managers and staff; brainstorming on automating an area of our work; resolving entitlement issues; approving appointments; mediating staff disputes or drafting responses to Headquarters.

My career started as an Administrative Assistant with a United Nations project in Antigua in 1980. When the project ended, I moved to New York and was re employed in the Interpretation Section, Department of General Assembly and Conference Management at Headquarters. It was exciting to see the United Nations General Assembly in action for the first time.

After this experience, I worked in the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts as Budget Assistant for eight years, during which time I had a 10 month stint with the United Nations Transition Assistance Group in Namibia. The memory of flying over Namibia's beautiful terrain during voter registration for the elections that led to the country's independence remains with me.

After eight years in the Budget Division, I wanted a new experience. The many career opportunities available in the Organization helped me to transfer to the former Field Personnel Section, Department of Peacekeeping Operations. This experience tapped into my interest in human resources and eventually helped me to pass the internal General Service to Professional examination.

I was with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon when I got my first professional post as an Associate Programme Management Officer with ESCWA, then headquartered in Amman, Jordan. When human resources beckoned again, I moved to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, and became a full-fledged Human Resources Officer, specializing in entitlements.

By 2003, I was on the move again: First to the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, then to the United Nations Office in Nairobi as Chief, Staff Administration Section. Nairobi proved to be an excellent training ground. The scope of activities and the complexities of managing the entitlements of about 2,000 staff in over 30 different duty stations, prepared me for my current role.

I was drawn to the Organization because of the meaningful work it does and the prospects of working in different places with people from all over the world. My personal motto has always been to go where opportunity takes me. After almost 30 years and 10 assignments in different United Nations locations, I still find my job very inspiring because I learn something new every day.

Many people miss out on opportunities because of safety concerns and fear of moving, but the great opportunity to explore different cultures while working for the common good should not be missed.

Beirut is safe. The occasional disturbances are more political but things have stabilized since the 2009 elections. When necessary, we work from home. Our business continuity system has been beefed up thanks to new technologies that allow staff to work remotely from anywhere.

When you get the opportunity, come and make the United Nations what you want it to be. It is the people that make the Organization.

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