Nationality

United States

Education

Master’s Degree in Business and Organizational Security Management, Webster University, Bolling Air Force Base Campus, Washington D.C., United States

Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, University of the District of Columbia, Washington D.C., United States

Languages

English, Igbo

I first joined the United Nations in 2002 as an Associate Security Training Officer at United Nations Headquarters in New York. During that time I learned a great deal about how the security network runs at the Organization. More importantly, I learned that the “security picture” changes with each duty station and mission. After two years in New York, I had an opportunity to see those changes when I took a job as the Deputy Chief of Security in Sierra Leone.

My primary duties and responsibilities in Sierra Leone consisted of planning and preparing for investigations of security violations. It required a great deal of multi-tasking because there are many administrative requirements that go along with investigations. I was also required to oversee these investigations; at that time, Sierra Leone was considered a “high risk” area due to internal conflict, so I was kept very busy.

I later moved to the United Nations mission in the Western Sahara (MINURSO), as Chief Security Officer where I managed seven international security officers and 33 security assistants. My team also worked closely with seven military observer sites, as well as local law enforcement, and together we provided an excellent security service to the United Nations community. I believe my most rewarding experience in the Western Sahara happened during the retrofitting of all military observer sites, where we ensured each team complied with Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS). This allowed the security system to run even more effectively for all of the United Nations employees working in MINURSO. We worked in close coordination with United Nations agencies, Funds and Programmes operating in the mission area. This type of security management is common among United Nations Country Team operations worldwide.

In 2007 I took up the position of Chief of Security at the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). I was required to set up a security section for over 1,000 mission personnel; this required seven security officers and supervisors, as well as 15 nationally recruited security assistants. Nepal had just emerged from conflict and the mission’s mandate was to assist the government in holding its first constituent assembly elections. This mission differed from my work in Africa because it was not a peacekeeping mission; instead it was a political mission operating in a country that already had a long-standing United Nations Country Team presence. UNMIN, however, was a challenge because it required a great deal of time and deliberations to adjust to the basic security standards that were in place for most of the United Nations Country Teams.

After my service in Nepal, I became a Deputy Security Adviser at the African Union and United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Today, I work within the administration of a 200-member international security officer staff force, as well as a local staff complement of over 500 security employees. My primary duties and responsibilities include administrative and logistical support for this “high risk” security area. This mission is considered the largest United Nations mission in the world; the primary task is to assist the Government of Sudan and the armed movements to reach comprehensive peace agreements. Unfortunately the region of Darfur is still quite volatile and we work tirelessly to ensure efficient and complete security for all staff members.

The United Nations is an organization that requires the sacrifices of few for the good of many. I recommend and encourage candidates to fully understand this sacrifice during their application process. Your reward, however, is the knowledge that you are giving your very best to make this world a better place.

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