Nationality

Guyana

Education

Certificate, Diplomacy, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom

Master’s Degree in Political Economy, London School of Economics, London United Kingdom

Bachelor’s Degree in History, University of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana

Languages

English, French, Spanish

When I was younger, I had a dream of becoming a pastor for the Lutheran Church; I have a natural inclination to improve the lives of the people around me and although I did not embark on a career in divinity, I did follow my affinity towards the betterment of humankind by joining the United Nations. It is my passion to help those less fortunate or people burdened by unforeseen events.

I worked during the initial phase of the relief mission in Grenada following Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Recently, I participated in a massive programme called the Guyana Shield Rainforest, an initiative dedicated to preserving the pristine resources of Suriname. What I found most remarkable about these events were individuals who shared the same values as me, committed to alleviating the suffering of our neighbours. Like me, these individuals came from the United Nations.

Just like many people before me, I came to the United Nations believing I could apply my experiences and talents in the service of multilateral diplomacy and development. I had experience as a Foreign Service Officer with the Government of Guyana, as well as service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Georgetown. I knew how to interact across international boundaries, but I believed I could do more. I believed I could be part of a global effort for change. I turned to the United Nations to be a part of change and I have been able to serve in that capacity now for over 15 years.

The most amazing aspect about the United Nations is not just the level of commitment and professionalism you will find in this Organization, but also the level of resilience and perseverance of the disadvantaged people the United Nations aims to help. In the course of my service, I spent the majority of my career in the Caribbean. This region of the world is quite susceptible to natural disasters, and no matter the damage or the severity of the storm, the United Nations is the first to help rebuild the destroyed country and its people are the first to pick themselves up. After Hurricane Ivan’s devastation of Grenada, the United Nations worked rapidly to help rebuild the nation; nearly 85 percent of Grenada’s population had been dislocated. I responded to the call by organizing shelters and working with other members of the United Nations to help those who had lost everything. Restoration and rebuilding the lives of these people had become my only focus. By the end of 2005, Grenada’s industries and housing had been almost completely restored.

While serving with the United Nations, I have held several positions. I worked as a Senior Adviser for the Permanent Mission of Guyana to the Organization in the early 1990s, and then worked as a Sustainable Development Officer from 1995 until 1997 when I became a Programme Manager for the Regional Bureau of the United Nations Development Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean. Today, I am the Director of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) sub-regional headquarters, based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

My typical days are not so “typical”, especially when you are in the business of helping others. I work closely and personally with the ECLAC Headquarters in Santiago, Chile, and I communicate regularly with directors from other departments. My colleagues and I are always trying to think of new plans and develop new programmes to resolve issues within the region. It is imperative that we stay abreast of these issues to ensure a timely response to any crisis that may arise. Although my days are long and the work is intense, I find time to embrace the wonders of Trinidad and Tobago. I am an avid fan of jazz music, as well as the gentle sound of the Caribbean steel pan. I also enjoy the theatre and fine dining, but I remain a “tropical country boy” at heart. I participate in a variety of outdoor activities and most importantly, I spend time with my family.

The one thing I would tell a future applicant is to select a specific area that you enjoy and requires work that leads to direct and measurable results. It is very important to love what you do, and while the United Nations provides that kind of opportunity, it is on you to select the career that makes you happy.

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