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Working in the United Nations System

February 5, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for the United Nations? Join us for a roundtable discussion with BSIA and MPACS graduates to discuss career opportunities within the UN system.


Adnan Ali – Since September 2019, Adnan has been working with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). A former MAGG student, Adnan was placed with UN Women’s Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECA RO) in Istanbul, as part of the BSIA and UNAC partnership in facilitating students with abroad placements in the UN System. Adnan’s main work is with statistical data concerning SDG-5 on Gender Equality and in the related sub-areas of women’s economic empowerment, political participation, violence & discrimination, and health and survival. Adnan is further involved with capacity development of 17 Country Offices (COs) under ECARO’s care, including the creation of national reports and providing technical assistance for achieving SDG targets. For Adnan, the intersectionality of assessing primary data at work with that of evidence-based policies learned at school, is where work gets really interesting.

Merran Eby, a MAGG programme alumna, started working for UNDP in the fall of 2018 while finishing her degree with the BSIA. She now serves as Climate and Disaster Resilience Officer with the Viet Nam country office in Hanoi, where she primarily supports the implementation of a US$30 million Green Climate Fund project on building the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to the impacts of climate change-related disasters. More recently, she has also been part of UNDP’s emergency response and recovery efforts since record-level floods and storms hit central Viet Nam in late 2020.

Merran comes from a highly diverse background that encompasses fine arts, archaeology, and language education in addition to international development, project management, and community-based disaster risk reduction. Prior to her time at the BSIA, she spent several years in coastal Fukushima, Japan, where she was involved in many volunteer activities focusing on community recovery. The intervening years have lessened neither her deep personal dedication to lessening the impacts of disasters nor her unquenchable enthusiasm for karaoke.

Yelena Gyulkhandanyan works with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Yemen as a Transition and Recovery (T&R) Officer, working on interventions that focus on service improvement, capacity development and social cohesion building in conflict and crisis affected communities. Prior to her work in Yemen, she has worked as a Capacity Building Officer with the IOM Somalia Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) unit. Yelena graduated from the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) programme in 2014. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts, Specialist in International Development from the University of Toronto.

Malambo Moonga is a migrant, firm believer in international cooperation and proud MAGG graduate. His journey as a UN professional began in 2016 when he, as a recent graduate from the University of Zambia, interviewed for an HR position at a private company and ended up being hired as a human rights educator at a gender-focused poverty eradication NGO! This turn of events was critical – it set Malambo on a path that has included fulfilling roles in poverty eradication and HIV/AIDS response in Zambia, civil society strengthening in Canada, and migration governance in different countries.

In pursuit of a lifelong interest in understanding international cooperation on major global issues, Malambo enrolled into the MAGG programme and went on to have his most intellectually rewarding & professionally pivotal experience to date. Since 2016, Malambo has headed the migration management programme for the International Organization for Migration in Ethiopia. Malambo also serves as coordinator of the UN Network on Migration in Ethiopia as well as a member of the UN Joint Policy Advisory Team. Malambo’s UN career UN began with A 2014 MAGG internship at the IOM Regional Office in Pretoria, South Africa.


February 5, 2021
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Category:


Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON Canada
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