Nationality

Guatemala

Education

Industrial Engineering, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala

Bachelors in Information Technology, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala

Languages

English, French and Spanish

I joined the United Nations in Guatemala, where I worked for four years before acquiring enough experience to join my first international mission in Timor-Leste. Subsequently, I acquired extensive experience in cashier and treasury functions, as well as in the payroll and payment areas in numerous field missions. I enjoy leveraging my skills to simplify various key tasks by creating automatized solutions. As I have been mobile around the Organization, I have been able to implement information technology-based solutions wherever they were needed in order to standardize specific functions across missions.

Timor-Leste holds a special place in my heart because I served there through various mandates and watched the fledging country grow to the point when I was required to participate in closing the mission. This experience gave me full exposure to all the key areas in finance, which I subsequently complemented with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) as well as training on the enterprise resource planning system ‘Umoja’ to ensure that my skills remain current. I am now an Umoja Local Process Expert (LPE) in Finance. As an LPE, I provide solutions to the most common problems encountered by the Umoja users in my area of expertise, develop solutions for less common problems, escalate more complex problems to the Umoja team and provide guidance on procedures and training to less experienced users.

During my service with United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), one of my most interesting experiences was closing the peacekeeping accounts as the mission’s mandate came to an end. Among other key activities, this required that payments to staff, vendors, and other missions were successfully settled before the mission closed. All residual financial activities were successfully transferred for processing to Headquarters. I have been fortunate to experience the full life cycle of a mission from start-up to the liquidation phases, which has enriched my career and strengthened my skills as a finance expert.

My career with the Organization has taken me to numerous locations. At times, I have served under difficult conditions brought about by natural disasters and conflict where the banking systems stopped working and the Organization had to use manual solutions to process payments. In MINUSTAH during the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, I was responsible for settling salaries for staff, payments to vendors and other entities, all of which required payment to help cope with an unfolding crisis. 

During my service with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), I participated in the merger of the Budget and Finance Sections to create one streamlined service. This development enabled me to enhance my skills in broader financial activities, including budget preparation. As the Organization adapts to a new way of working, the regional centre concept was introduced to realign finance functions. Being a finance expert demands accuracy in everything you do as well as regular liaison with many different offices. No matter where you work, there will be challenges to face but I find this a very rewarding field to be in, especially when I see how my daily activities support broader organizational reforms.

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