Meet Our Junior Professional Consultants
Karen Lamola has worked in communications, stakeholder engagement and policy analysis for over 5 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Development Studies. Her experience and education have built her capacity for strong research and analytical writing skills while employing intersectionality, cultural competence, and trauma-informed approaches. As a member of the Social Policy Committee at the Women’s Centre of Calgary, she researched social issues affecting the women the Centre provided basic needs services for and drafted documents calling for policy change. She also responded to policy related inquiries on behalf of the Centre along with drafting memorandums, briefing notes, and reports to the board. As Director of Social Affairs for the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association, she works in collaboration with other committees and community partners to research and identify key stakeholders to participate in the BNA’s initiatives. Her responsibilities include monitoring activities occurring in the neighbourhood, which may affect residents, and developing a living document of community members to track our engagement on certain activities and issues.
Juan is recently obtained an honours bachelor’s degree in International Development at Humber College, where he built a solid theoretical background in economics and sustainable development while also gaining practical skills for research, monitoring and evaluation. Throughout his studies, and working in diverse environments including community projects and a courthouse in Canada, Juan developed a committed ethic throughout my work and a particular interest towards environmental issues and governance. Most recently, he worked overseas as Community Management Coordinator for TECHO Ecuador where he leads the development of a National Meeting of Community Referents bringing volunteers and community leaders to strengthen leaderships and commit solutions throughout 11 communities in the country. Juan is eager to contribute these experiences in Peru towards the discussion and implementation of environmental policy throughout UNICEF’s work as he learns about the UN system and further my focus in the Latin-American region.
Mona is a recent Honours Bachelor of Arts graduate from University of Toronto, majoring in Socio-Legal Studies and Political Science. Through her academic career she developed a keen interest in law, community development, social justice activism and mainstreaming gender equality. Her commitment to tackling these challenges in her community fostered a pathway for her to create positive social change through her roles with U of T Office of the Registrar, the municipal governments of the City of Mississauga and the City of Toronto, and at one of Canada’s Seven Sister law firms, Torys LLP. Her role as an advisor allowed her to conduct research on university policies, resulting in university wide policy changes to ensure higher student success. As a research analyst, her work contributed to the City of Mississauga being awarded the highest possible recognition by Play Works Ontario to support the growth and development of youth programs and increase the accessibility of funding for the next five years. Her efforts as a councillor’s aide for Councillor Shan consisted of tackling racial discrimination and contributed to the successful passing of MM36.5, a motion to declare January 29th as a Day of Remembrance of the Québec Mosque Attack and Action on Islamophobia.
John is a recent graduate of McMaster University’s M.A. international relations, global political economy program. During his studies, he devoted his research to understanding the regional causes of human trafficking, culminating in his final research paper titled The Persistence of Human Trafficking: Challenges of Policy Enforcement and Development in Southeast Asia. With respect to his professional background, in addition to experience working with law firms, NGOs and civil society groups including WFUNA and UNA-Canada, he currently works as a political economist with Breithorn Group, a boutique market research consultancy, and recently acquired a part-time project management role with We Make Change. These experiences have helped John develop a strong, disciplined work ethic while enabling him to acquire a diverse, highly transferrable skill set relating to research and analysis, report writing, project management and working in culturally diverse teams and workplaces. He hopes to utilize these skills and gain a wealth of experience as an intern with UNODC Laos while working towards achieving his ultimate goal of pursuing global justice by combating illicit trafficking through his career.
Elizabeth Van Neen
Elizabeth is a recent MSc graduate of the State University of New York with considerable international experience. A Canadian citizen, she was raised in Kazakhstan, Yemen, Germany, and Slovenia. Her professional background includes working as a teacher and curriculum writer for non-for-profit international schools in Kazakhstan and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Currently, Elizabeth works as a project manager at the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo, a nascent peace-building initiative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her academic background is in history, writing, education, and research. This combination allows her to communicate effectively, critically analyze policies, and support claims with data. Working as part of the War Childhood Museum’s development and project management team has honed her ability to write detailed reports and define institutional policies. Her experiences living in and working in diverse political and cultural environments have driven her to communicate respectfully and thoughtfully. She hopes to use her skills at the World Food Program in Zimbabwe, while gaining more experience at a UN agency
Miguel A. Rozo
Miguel has a degree in International Relations from the University of British Columbia (UBC), specializing in diplomacy, peace and security studies. He focused his research on the Colombian and DR Congo conflicts, analyzing the intersection between human rights, institutions, and rule of law. His experiences at the United States Consulate-General Vancouver, the BC Ministry of Health, and Silicon Valley – have given him solid skills in research/analysis, media monitoring and report writing. This combination allows him to critically analyse policies and substantiate claims with data. Miguel is proactive and engaged. Examples include founding a non-profit organization (IdeasXChange.org), giving a TEDx talk on refugee displacement, attending the 2017 G7 youth summit and UNLEASH innovation lab, and spearheading a STEM literacy project with the Rotary foundation to provide coding classes for children in Colombia. He speak Spanish fluently, is culturally sensitive, and hopes to support the UNDP’s efforts to support peacebuilding and strengthen democracy in Colombia
Maseh is a graduate of the Global Health Policy, Management, and Systems program at York University with international work experience. Academically, he developed the health-related research, report-writing, policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation skills necessary to excel in this role. He refined these skills working with Jordan Health Aid Society International (JHASi), an NGO that provides medical services for refugees. He designed and conducted research in the UNHCR-JHASi clinic in Za’atari Refugee Camp, developed a policy position paper on refugees’ healthcare coverage, and produced a report with recommendations for JHASi’s health information system. His professional skillset, academic excellence, and intercultural communication training make him a strong fit to help deliver a transparent and cost-effective procurement system for medicines in Ukraine. Through this opportunity, Maseh hopes to gain transferrable global health experience with the UNDP.
Nadia is a graduate from the University of Victoria with a major in Political Science and a minor in Gender Studies. Her studies focused on international policy, intersectional feminism and community development. Through her coursework in policy analysis and development theory, she has acquired additional skills such as stakeholder analysis, drafting policy memos and research design, which will make her a valuable asset in supporting the development of youth employment initiatives for UNDP Cambodia. She has furthered her professional experience in project management, cross-cultural teamwork, and creative problem solving through diverse work experiences working in government and local non-profit sectors. This includes the role of executive assistant for a provincial education minister, event organizer for an equity and human rights organization, and a finance coordinator for a feminist non-profit collective.
Laura is currently a master’s candidate in geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland under the research project “Northern Exposures: Science, Indigenous people, and Northern Contaminants” under the supervision of Professor Arn Keeling. She has significant research experience and strong writing skills developed in her work as a research assistant and as a teacher assistant at Memorial University. She conducted her fieldwork in Northern Canada mapping the traditional territory of a community. She interviewed elders and wrote policy suggestions about her findings. This experience allowed her to gain knowledge in methodology development as well as improved her communication skills with vulnerable groups. She also has international experience as she has studied in the United States, Finland and in France. In addition, she worked with a local NGO in Ecuador and volunteered in an environmental project in Italy. Laura’s professional aspiration is to work in environmental protection, hence her desire to participate in an internship in Ukraine with the United Nations.
Frederique is a recent graduate of International Relations and International Law from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Throughout her university career, she has volunteered with youth in Delhi, and interned with the NGO Alas de Esperanza alongside the indigenous communities of Ucayali. To further perfect her Spanish, she spent a semester abroad in Spain. Participating in the “National Model United Nations” has motivated her to start a career that prioritizes the implementation of the SDGs. Overall, her diverse background has taught her the importance of capacity-building in small communities to empower youth. Based on Frederique’s previous experiences, the issue of food security in Peru is well adapted to her abilities. Working with UNICEF will be the ideal opportunity to further her knowledge in this field.
Lylia is a lawyer of the Quebec Bar and a graduate in Law and International Studies. Since 2016, she has been working in contexts affected by crisis and fragile States, namely in Mali and Honduras, as a voluntary legal advisor for Lawyers without Borders Canada. In Mali, she had the opportunity to participate in the redaction of a law project on gender-based violence. Since then, she has been able to gain awareness of the concerns and strategies implemented by various stakeholders regarding the adoption of such a sensitive bill and so, she feel confident on being able to review the fast-track procedures related to the peace process in Colombia. Lylia is a curious, compassionate and open-minded individual and will be thrilled to join United Nations’ actions in the consolidation of the peace in Colombia.
Jenna has recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a double major in Peace, Conflict, and Justice Studies as well as Sociology. These two areas of study have primed her to think critically about global and local issues and navigate a variety of routes for issue-resolution. In addition to her educational background, she was involved in a tri-continental research project focusing on youth development, particularly in regards to social justice and civic engagement. This project allowed her to develop her research and writing skills, communication skills, and project-management skills, while giving her invaluable experience collaborating with international researchers. In the near future Jenna hopes to gain professional international experience, which further develops her existing competencies and contributes to her long-term goal of a career in social policy and international development.
Kiana is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto who has been awarded for successful execution of impactful environmental projects, community development and building strong relationships with stakeholders. Her professional experience includes environmental education and research on climate change adaptation and urban planning. Her academic background is in climate change, environmental policy, disaster management and ecology. This combination has provided her with a strong foundation in project management, report writing, policy dissemination, while enhancing her interpersonal and communication skills to deliver impact events, create well-informed reports and presentations. Kiana hopes to assist in developing new environmental initiatives in Indonesia, as well as gain experience for working for a UN agency abroad in a country where the world’s first disaster recovery agency was established.
Valeri has recently graduated from a Master’s of Science in Public Policy and Management from the Budapest Corvinus University. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business from the University of Alberta. Valeri is adaptable, a fast learner and an enthusiastic team member with advanced analytical and research skills. She has worked in NGOs in Canada with a particular focus on Migration and Gender and she is currently completing a 6-month traineeship with the European Institute for Innovation and Technology where she assisted the work in the unit measuring the Impact of the current programs and planning the Strategic future of the organization. She is looking forward to this opportunity to propel her career in international development and human rights. Working in Business and Human Rights would bring together her professional training and education as well as her personal interests in human rights, while also providing the opportunity to learn about another region and culture.
Bowie is a recent graduate of UBC with experience in both non-profit organizations and global corporations. She has helped survivors of trafficking as a volunteer at Vancouver’s Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter. Her front-line experience gained from volunteering, and project management expertise from leading the implementation of Sauder Graduation Night will be applicable in developing new counter-trafficking projects. She has also developed situational and statistical analytical skills through her participation in Western Canada’s largest business case competition and her internship at KPMG. Bowie is highly experienced in translating analysis to informative reports and presentations. Furthermore, her academic experience in Singapore has prepared me to collaborate in a culturally diverse workplace at IOM. She is excited of the opportunity to develop counter-trafficking projects and gain valuable experience working in Ghana.
Sarah is a graduate of the University of Windsor with local and international development experience. Her professional experience includes working for long-running NGO Canada World Youth, volunteering in Senegal with EQWIP HUBs – a youth sustainable livelihoods project – and interning for a diversion program that works with young offenders. Her academic background is in political science with a specialization in law and politics. Both her academic and professional experiences have enabled her to critically analyse data, identify issues or concerns, but also provide solutions or strategies to address them. She believes that her experience working with vulnerable youth has enabled her to empathize, but also to understand their direct needs. Sarah hopes to effectively assist the Child Protection team in Zimbabwe in meeting their objectives, as well as gain experience working for UN agency.
Julieanne is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph with a strong interdisciplinary background in international development studies, youth advocacy, and gender. During graduate school, she used a feminist approach to map the youth outreach efforts of a prominent Canadian development organization and recommended changes to improve the effectiveness of the organization’s programming. Her background in gender and development studies has given her an awareness and sensitivity of intersectional power dynamics, as well as the ability to conduct in-depth research and produce well-informed reports. Additionally, her experience working on an organic farm in Alsace, France, has given her the intercultural communication skills required to work in a culturally diverse environment. Julieanne is seeking a career path in youth advocacy where she can use her skills to promote the empowerment of girls and women through transformative education.
As a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo, Fadumo brins with her a strong background in multidisciplinary studies, such as International Development, Environmental Sustainability, Communications and Business Development. These provided her with exceptional analytical, reasoning, and reflection skills, and a firm grounding in project development theories, environmental assessment practices, and supporting grassroots initiatives through marketing and communications. Through her professional experience as a Communication and Documentations Officer for the Tanzanian Tourist Board in Arusha, Tanzania, she was able to contribute to the implementation of various marketing and communications strategies, such as promoting cultural tourism campaigns to the public. Fadumo believes that the skills she has attained from this experience, as well as the knowledge she intends to gain from the UN, will allow her to succeed in contributing to the One UN Communication strategy for the UNDP of Rwanda.
Chelsea is a recent graduate from the University of the Fraser Valley with my Bachelor of Arts in Global Development from the University of Sussex. Her professional background includes working as a research assistant in the education department at the University of the Fraser Valley and working as a marketing assistant at Muskoka Chautauqua in Ontario. Chelsea’s international experiences have brought her to Uganda, Australia, Turkey and Afghanistan, where she has volunteered and worked in a number of capacities including a resident assistant at a boarding school, a nanny, a sales associate, and a homeschooling teacher. Her academic interests include examining alternative development strategies to combat poverty and how sports can be used for empowerment and development. She looks forward to putting my learning into practice in Laos at the UN Office of Crime and Drugs.
Kamila is a second-year master’s student studying International Development at the University of Ottawa. Her professional background includes working in the Results-Based Management Division at the Public Health Agency of Canada, conducting research and data analysis for the Women’s Economic Council, and providing data support for the Asherah Foundation. Her research and analysis skills enable her to create informed and evidence-based reports on wide-ranging topics. Her academic background in International Relations and Development has exposed her to various thematic areas, including climate change, gender, and social protection. Moreover, through traveling, volunteering, and studying abroad in England she has honed her communication skills, which are vital in culturally diverse settings. Kamila hopes to contribute her skills, knowledge, and passion to the UNDP Cambodia Country Office and gain valuable experience working for a UN agency abroad.
Janelle has recently completed her master’s degree in journalism at the University of Regina. She also holds a bachelor of arts, majoring in International Studies with a Development concentration and Political Science minor. Her professional background includes interning for a Washington-based NGO where she conducted research on federal human trafficking legislation, managing client health files at a local refugee resettlement agency, and chase producing for a provincial current affairs show. The combination of her international development and journalism experience allows her to effectively articulate and communicate complex problems to an audience. Janelle has excellent written and oral communication skills and a variety of experience working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. She wants to gain experience in international development communications and learn how she can transfer her skills and passion as a journalist into this field.