Nationality

United States

Education

Master of Science in Operations Research and Applied Statistics, George Mason University, Virginia, United States

Master of Arts in Economics, George Mason University, Virginia, United States

Master of Arts in Banking, The People’s University of China, Beijing, China

Bachelor of Science in Math, Nankai University, Tianjin, China

Languages

English, French, Chinese

When people think of Information Technology (IT), generally, they think of computer and email support. However, technical support is only one aspect to the job. At the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), where I work as an IT Programme Management Officer, we help people identify and understand their work processes so we can help them operate more efficiently.

OCHA is responsible for bringing together efforts to coordinate a quick humanitarian response to countries suffering from emergency disasters. In order for these operations to run smoothly, our role is to provide administrative computer programs to catalog data necessary for the response. For example, we designed and implemented the field financial management system to administer budget, cash and detailed expenditures for 43 OCHA field offices. As the project manager, I prepare and coordinate development and training procedures and then implement them. 

In 1993, I was first introduced to the United Nations when I was an IT consultant in the private sector. My company was responsible for pioneering an innovative project for the Organization that shifted administrative processes from paper to digital.

As a consultant, my job was to provide organizations with options for change. Now that I work for the United Nations, I provide and implement solutions that make a true difference in the way people work. It is about improving a process. Instead of using ten steps to complete a task, my role is to reduce the system to two steps. For example, because United Nations employees travel all over the world, we built a system to automate travel processes rather than going through multiple paper steps.

On a personal level, the interconnection I have with staff is why I regard the organization as my second family. When I am walking down the street from one office to another, I see just how many members comprise this community. It is amazing how we systematically come together to function as an effective whole.

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