Nationality

India

Education

Master’s Degree in Economics, University of Calicut, Kerala, India

Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, World History, Political Science, St. Mary’s College, Sultan Bathery, Kerala, India

Languages

English, Hindi, Malayalam

When I was in the 4th grade, my social studies teacher gave our class a lecture about the United Nations. She spoke of its commitment to bringing peace and stability across the globe. She spoke highly of its mission and the types of people working in the Organization. Every aspect of this institution fascinated me. After the lecture, I stood up and told my class, “One day I will work for the United Nations!” My class broke out into laughter. We came from a very remote tribal area in India, the Sultan Bathery on the Wayanad Hill District, and aspirations like that seemed a little too ambitious at the time.

Working for the United Nations had always been my dream. In order to make my dream a reality, I decided to pursue more education. I immersed myself in academics; I studied economics and politics, as well as world history. Economics has always been one of my passions. I earned my Master’s degree in economics and then served as a university lecturer in India. Following that I worked at the Indian Economic Service as an Assistant Director. I spent about a year there before taking a job at the Indian Police Service as an Assistant Superintendent, later serving as the Assistant Inspector-General for Operations with the Special Protection Group in New Delhi. These jobs introduced me to the world of security and international politics. With my background in economics, as well as my work experience in security and the civil service I believed I had a lot to offer the United Nations.

I joined the United Nations in 1997 as Deputy Chief and within months as Chief of Security for the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I later worked as the UN Security Advisor in Iraq and was the Chief Security Advisor of the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission in Lebanon. In 2006, I came to New York to serve as the Chief of the Middle East Region in the Division of Regional Operations under the UN Department of Safety and Security, which is in charge of the security of United Nations personnel, assets and operations. In September 2009, I moved to Geneva as the Chief Security Coordinator of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

At the OHCHR, I play a crucial role in coordinating security of its world-wide operations. I have an efficient team of security professionals and support staff in the headquarters as well as in the field to accomplish this complex task. We keep track of security developments all over the world with special emphasis on the activities of the OHCHR offices, Representatives, Human Rights Advisors with the Country Teams, Fact-Finding Missions, Special Rapporteurs appointed by the Human Rights Council, etc. I also work with security authorities of the Member States, and the UN Department of Safety and Security, to seek their support for ensuring the safety and security of our staff involved in sensitive operations across the world.

Working as a team with the High Commissioner and her Deputy, programme managers, security officials of the United Nations as well as national governments and the staff, is the essence of my work. We simply can't succeed without team work, as we are often faced with “either swim together or sink together” situations. The ultimate goal that we all share is to make this world a better place to live. And when one is called upon to serve the noble cause of human rights, it is truly rewarding.

One of my favorite things about the United Nations is the work I can do abroad. I have traveled across the globe, participating in missions that took me to Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia, across China, through Uzbekistan and West Asia. I served with teams in the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland. I also reviewed security issues throughout Africa, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, and Kenya. I assisted in special missions in Chile, Brazil, and Colombia. Most recently I assessed security issues in Turkey, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Israel, as well as in Kuwait and Iraq.

Although the United Nations provides me opportunities to travel, work abroad, and participate in a field I enjoy, my favorite is the ability to make a difference in people’s lives. The various cultures, nationalities, and creeds that are interwoven into the United Nations make this place a truly unique organization. There is no other place quite like the United Nations; it is the entire world built right into one institution.

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