Nationality

Education

Master of Philosophy in Economics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Languages

English, French, German

I am a number-crunching geek. For me there is nothing more exciting than taking raw data and tinkering with it until I have built a solution that delivers results and ultimately answers a problem. 

Before joining the United Nations, I worked for HM Treasury, the United Kingdom’s economics and finance ministry. The work was interesting, but I wasn’t satisfied with serving just the government of my own country. I wanted to broaden my scope, and the United Nations offered that possibility.

I began my UN career at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna after passing the National Competitive Recruitment Examination (now the Young Professionals Programme). Mobility is important at the United Nations, so after two years at that station, I was relocated as part of the Managed Reassignment Programme to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Living in Addis Ababa and working at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has been an incredible experience.

My day-to-day work involves conducting research and analysis to improve our understanding of what constitutes good policy and then communicating the findings to those who actually implement policy. I am currently using econometrics to analyze existing infrastructure services across Africa and see where the gaps lie. The other major project I am focused on is an African regional integration index – a mechanism we are developing to measure and compare countries’ progress in complying with existing integration agreements. Our goal is to ensure that the fruits of economic growth in Africa are shared more broadly.

Often, when people think about human rights advocacy, they may overlook the importance of fighting for economic freedom. By reducing poverty and stimulating economies, we can ultimately enhance people’s choices.

The data we are collecting now will likely be vital for all kinds of activities down the road. My favorite thing about the research process is the unknown – when you start out, you don’t always know what the application of the outcome will be.

When I first decided to work in public policy, I wasn’t sure what form my career would take. I considered politics and academia, but ultimately decided that the United Nations offered the best of both worlds. I still get to do proper research, which I consider to be my strength, but the United Nations provides a bigger platform than just that. Governments call upon us to draft policy. We are invited to present documents at intergovernmental meetings. The United Nations makes it possible for me to use my skills to make a difference.

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