Nationality

Iran

Education

Bachelors in Computer Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Languages

English, Persian

I am currently working as the Chief of the Information and Communication Technology Unit at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean’s (ECLAC) subregional office in Mexico City. ECLAC, which is headquartered in Santiago, Chile, is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. It was founded with the purpose of contributing to the economic development of Latin America, and promoting the region’s social development. As such, I work alongside many dedicated economists and statisticians at our office whose mission is to stimulate growth and fight poverty in the Central American Region. Like all United Nations employees, they need technical support in order to carry out their tasks, and the main role of my team is to provide the Mexico office staff with the best information and communication technology available.

Cutting-edge information technology allows the Organization to respond to situations in real-time. All over the world, the United Nations’ strategic use of information technology is helping to improve the United Nations’ responsiveness and efficiency. For example, the Organization’s medical units in Africa use mobile phones –the most widely accessible and fastest growing form of communication technology on the continent– to make health announcements, and the United Nations Mission in Haiti used the latest geo-mapping software during the early days of rescue and recovery after the 2010 earthquake. My own office recently replaced its traditional phone system with an Internet Protocol (IP) based one, which means that our staff now have access to their office phones, voicemails and email accounts all in one, no matter where they are. Not only is this system accessible even if the users are on mission in remote locations, it is also more convenient and cheaper than a conventional landline telephone system. The most gratifying moment of this project was when we switched on the new, fully operational system for the first time; It felt like a sign of real change, and it’s exciting to know that we’re helping the Organization use technology to its full potential.

Before coming to the United Nations I had worked as an information technology administrator for seven years, including at a biomedical startup company in Sydney. But I have always been interested in politics and international affairs. So, after a friend showed me an advert in a news magazine, I applied to join the Organization via the National Competitive Recruitment Examinations. These exams are held annually across the globe, and are a platform for high-calibre professionals, 32 years old or younger, to launch their careers as international civil servants. The exam itself covers a broad range of topics in my field, so it wasn’t easy to study for, but several months after completing the written component, I was contacted for a teleconference interview while traveling in my native Iran. After passing the exam, I was put on a roster, and in early 2009 I was contacted about two available positions. By May 2009 I was in charge of the Information and Communication Technology Unit in Mexico City.

Being stationed at one of the United Nations’ many regional offices, rather than at headquarters, is an amazing learning experience for a young professional, because even though I’m still relatively new to the Organization, I’ve been given a lot of responsibility. Through interacting closely with my colleagues, I’ve been able to acquire many new skills both technical and administrative, that have helped me to deliver my services better. I also knew very little about Mexico City before arriving here, but in the last two years I’ve grown to love it. It’s one of the biggest cities in the world, as well as one of the most lively, interesting and exciting. There is something for everyone here, and my friends and I try to visit the historical centre regularly because there is always something going on.

I made many of my new friends at work, and our office is like a small family. It’s the people who work here that make the United Nations a special place; they’re from so many different backgrounds both culturally and professionally, not to mention a wide variety of age groups, but they are all dedicated to the same values and goals. When I see the outcomes of their work, and know that my team was a part of that process, I’m glad that my skills are serving the noble aims and objectives of the United Nations.

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