Nationality

United States

Education

Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Columbia University, New York, United States

Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies, Cornell University, New York, United States

Languages

English, French

It has always been important to me to work for the greater common good. I started my career in the private sector as a management consultant, supporting government clients in the United States and Egypt. Although I enjoyed my work, I wanted to contribute more directly in the international arena. So, while working in Cairo, I applied for a position with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

I had applied to many job openings throughout the years; this time, I secured a position and within a few months I was in Bangkok working with a team of United Nations staff improving aid management for four of the countries affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami. Our team created a public online database tool that improved accountability and transparency for resources that were contributed to the tsunami relief and recovery efforts. I specifically focused on how private sector contributions were being leveraged and integrated with other resources. Our work helped the affected governments and colleagues in the field to better track resources and to ensure the effective use of food, clothing, medication and other supplies for the people in need.

I had a short stint developing an anti-corruption online toolkit as a consultant for the United Nations Global Compact, the entity that engages with companies to encourage them to adhere to UN principles. Soon after, I joined the United Nations Secretariat full time via the National Competitive Examination (now called the Young Professionals Programme). My first job was in the Office of Human Resources Management in New York, working in planning, monitoring and reporting on strategic human resources management. I helped to develop and communicate on human resources reforms, including to the Member States.

Though I valued my time working to support and improve the talent of the United Nations, I wanted to get exposure to an area that was more externally focused. I moved to Donor and External Relations for the Department of Political Affairs and was exposed to the dynamic political events that are daily shaping the world. It was interesting to interface directly with delegates from the Permanent Missions and from capitals, to understand the Member State perspective. Since we were a small team, my functions covered resource mobilization, communications, project management and evaluation, including traveling to Libya to assess the mission start-up in the country.

Currently, I work with the Department of Field Support whose mandate is to provide support to staff members in both peacekeeping and special political missions, which are set up to strengthen peace and security in conflict and post-conflict areas. This includes engineers who build structures; logisticians who establish air and ground movement; and administrative personnel who provide finance and human resources support to the missions. Our team is focused on a five-year reform strategy, which aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of support to the field and to improve the lives of staff who work in complex, often difficult environments. 

Having worked in the spheres of politics, development, security and management has provided me with a broad view of the vast array of work that the United Nations is doing. I see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together to mobilize efforts and assist people around the globe. Individual accomplishments may seem small compared to the larger challenges we face, but the combined efforts of all who work in this Organization make a difference. It is an honour to be part of this complex, wide-ranging and wonderful United Nations, a worldwide effort to bring about change.

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