Nationality

Bolivia

Education

Master’s Degree in International Relations and Pubic Affairs,
Catholic University of Louvain la Neuve, Belgium
 
Master’s Degree in Criminology,
Catholique University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Political Science,
Catholic University of Cordoba, Argentina

Languages

English, French, Spanish

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with international relations. I pursued degrees in international relations, as well as political science at universities in Argentina, Belgium, and Switzerland. Naturally, I found myself working for the Government of my home country, Bolivia, as a foreign service diplomat from 1993 until 2004. During that time, I had an opportunity to continue my studies in Switzerland where I pursued a degree in criminology. These studies, coupled with my studies on international relations, equipped me with a strong knowledge base to combat international crime. Although I enjoyed working for my Government, I became intrigued with international institutions, primarily the United Nations, following a joint project I participated in on behalf of the Bolivian Government and the European Union.

This project entailed discussing the control of chemical precursors and how it pertained to drug trafficking and diversion from its licit use. As a diplomat and trade negotiator, I served as first secretary and Counselor in the Permanent Mission of Bolivia in Geneva and worked closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

I joined the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) in 2006 where I first served as a Field Security Coordinator Officer in Colombia. In this position I had the opportunity to work with the many different United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes, in Colombia. I was responsible for advising and assessing the security measures for all of the staff members, the projects and premises. My duties and responsibilities included identifying potential threats, conducting risk assessments, and incorporating security measures that would mitigate the risks for the UN. I would also follow-up United Nations security policy and standards. I enjoyed this job because it allowed me to apply the things I know (criminology and security) to the things I love (the international community). Another interesting aspect about that job was the opportunity to work both with the security forces of Colombia and the embassies on security issues to support the United Nations mandates in the host countries.

I left Colombia in 2008 and took a position as a Regional Security Coordinator for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for all of the Americas, which was based in Costa Rica. This position entailed many of the same duties and responsibilities of the Field Security Coordinator, except that my work focused on one particular United Nations agency, UNHCR, as opposed to all of the agencies of one host nation like Colombia. This position required that I apply and provide oversight to the same principles of security at the regional level.

Today, I am a Security Coordinator Officer for the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) at the Organization’s Headquarters in New York. In this position I support security teams in the West African region by providing them with relevant information and intelligence about security issues. It is a demanding job because it requires me to be vigilant about the changes in the issues and I provide the information the teams need to effectively do their jobs in the field.

For an applicant who is interested in working for the United Nations in the field of security, one of the best traits you can have is experience. The security picture is always unclear and threats are amorphous. It is important to combine experience with knowledge while always staying in tune with the operating environment.

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