Nationality

Brazil

Education

Master’s Degreee in Law, UNISANTOS - Catholic University of Santos, Brazil

Post Graduation in Logistics & Transport Management for the UN – Chartered Institute of Logistics – UK

Languages

English, French, Portuguese, Spanish

When a mission deploys, it must bring all of its vehicles, and the infrastructure needed to support it. From the forklifts and cranes that shift our shipping container offices, to the 4x4s, water, fuel and armored trucks that move troops and officials, a team of transport officers must source, manage and maintain every vehicle or equipment. Each of the United Nations’ 30 political and peacekeeping missions around the world has its own transport team, and all of these require backstop support from our office at the New York headquarters. It’s our job to help the field-based teams purchase and maintain whatever vehicles, trucks, forklifts and fire engines they need to achieve their mandates.

I manage inventories and assist in formulating budgets, writing work plans and reviewing performance reports from all the missions. I also work with each mission’s budget and procurement officers to make sure that the vehicles and equipment we acquire meet the United Nations’ strict operational requirements for cost and function. Transport officers form part of the wider Integrated Support Services network, and work closely with each of the other divisions. For example, if the engineers plan on building roads, we liaise to them about what kind of equipment they will need. If the medical staff need ambulances, we help them acquire the most appropriate models.

Working for the United Nations, I’ve had the opportunity to experience both life at the headquarters, and life in the field. In 2005 I was part of the peacekeeping mission in Liberia. After coming back to New York Headquarters, I returned to Africa as Chief Transport Officer for the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) in 2010. Not only does a mission transport team manage and maintain the fleet, we are also responsible for decisions about its deployment. In Chad, for example, there was a ‘haboub’, or sandstorm, which resulted in a car crash late in the evening. Because of the storm, the darkness and the fact that there were rebel forces in the area, deploying our rescue teams and transport equipment to help the victims was a very complex exercise. But we followed procedure and, working together with the Mission’s other officers, were able to recover the injured personnel. Because of events like this, field transport officers are also responsible for providing vehicle safety training to all United Nations staff involved in logistics and support services.

I started my career nearly 30 years ago, when there were not many women in the automotive field, and people used to think it was funny that I was playing with ‘boy’s toys’. Before coming to the United Nations I had been a manager with both Ford Motor Company and Renault in South America, but, as a lifelong girl scout, I also wanted to use the specialist knowledge I had acquired for a more meaningful cause. I now work with many talented people, both women and men, in the transport and logistics network. It’s a great feeling to know that you are part of something bigger; to serve the United Nations and help keep it rolling.

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