Tag Archives: United Nations

United Nations Trip 2018

by: Patrick Fernandez ’20

Last October 26, first-year IPED students had a full day of meetings and tour at the United Nations complex in Manhattan, New York. The day started with a meeting with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Nature for Development Team with a presentation by Nicole DeSantis, Programme Specialist for the New York Declaration on Forests. She was also joined by the other members of the team: Martin Sommerschuh, Programme Analyst for the Equator Initiative; Maddie Craig, Programme Specialist for the New York Declaration on Forests; and Meghna Ravishankar, Programme Consultant for the New York Declaration on Forests. They talked about the different projects that their team in UNDP is doing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which includes the Equator Prize, UN Biodiversity Lab, and Policy Support for governments among many others. The students had questions on the role of private firms, impact assessment, political limitations, and nature-based solutions for indigenous peoples.

Nicole DeSantis explaining the work they do in UNDP

IPED students during the meeting with UNDP

Discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals

IPED students together with the UNDP Nature for Development Team

The students then headed to UNICEF to have a meeting with Tyler Porth, Statistics Specialist at UNICEF. Mr. Porth presented the importance and impact of data and statistics in their work at UNICEF. He also highlighted their effort on making their programs easy-to-use for the people on the ground so that more informed decisions backed up by data can be made. Mr. Porth also shared his experiences of going into the communities in different countries and actually seeing the impact of the data and statistics they are analyzing. The students asked him for tips on studying statistics tools, his favorite part of the job, and the effects of technology on developing countries.

IPED students at UNICEF

Meeting with Mr. Tyler Porth from UNICEF

IPED students together with Mr. Tyler Porth

The group then had lunch at the UN Delegates Dining Room together with some second year IPED students and Mr. Bruno Brant, IPED alumnus ’01.

Lunch at the UN Delegates Dining Room

Dr. Schwalbenberg together with IPED alumnus, Bruno Brant ’01

In the afternoon, the group proceeded to the US Mission for a meeting with Millie Meyers, Director of Special projects, Jason Lawrence, Adviser for Economic and Social Affairs (Foreign Service Officer), and James Duke (IPED ’19), who currently interns at the US mission. James shared his experience of working for the US mission and the process he had to undergo. They also shared about the different paths available in foreign service. Mr. Lawrence also shared about the difficulty of balancing professional and personal life because of the demands of the job. He noted, though, that it is manageable and the administration has been improving over the years.

IPED students and the representatives from the US Mission

The day ended with a tour of the United Nations Headquarters. The guide took us to the different chambers and halls of the headquarters. There were a lot of informative history about the UN that the guide highlighted while we make the tour.

One of the many artwork at the UN Headquarters depicting man’s struggle and journey for peace

IPED students at the UN Security Council Hall

A mural at the UN Headquarters depicting the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl

IPED Students at the UN General Assembly Hall

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Carlos Baeta ’18 at United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Office

By: Carlos Baeta ’18

During the Spring 2018 semester, I interned at the United Nation’s Department of Social Affairs within the E-Government division. During my internship, I was under the supervision of IPED alumnus and former Matteo Ricci scholar Deniz Susar ’08.

As an intern, my tasks included data analysis, research and report writing relating to some key deliverables within the office. The most salient project I worked on was the 2018 E-government survey, which will be published later this year. The E-government survey is important insofar as it highlights the importance of a government’s ability to leverage existing technologies to provide key services to their constituencies. Put differently, it analyzes how governments in the UN’s 193 member states use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) to ensure sustainable development.

To this extent, it would be remiss of me not to mention how important IPED was in ensuring that I was able to maximize my experience at the United Nations. Firstly, the research methodology and analysis that I conducted on the E-government survey was similar to Dr. Schwalbenberg’s Foreign Aid and Development class. Given this, my experience working on the Fordham Francis Index (FFI) allowed me to understand the E-Government Development Index and its component parts from day one. Secondly, the Applied Econometrics class and my background in management consulting assisted in analyzing and presenting the data in creative ways. Finally, I believe that the extensive writing courses that we took as well as the robust feedback that we get from the professors improved my research and writing ability respectively.

In conclusion, I would recommend current and future IPED students to leverage Fordham’s proximity to the UN as a means of getting international experience that complements the coursework. Furthermore, I believe it prudent to use the IPED directory and alumni networks during the application process. Finally, it is important to acknowledge that IPED provides all of its students with the tools necessary for becoming economic researchers or public servants after graduation. The UNDESA is an opportunity that I would highly recommend to compliment your academic experience.

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International Project: The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago

By: Robyn Emory Murray ’18

The Fordham delegation leaving on their first day of the Camino

Last month, three IPED students were invited to join the International Project on “The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago: Harnessing the power of tourism to promote cross-cultural dialogue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Benjamin Boltz (IPED ’19), Owen Fitzgerald (IPED ’18), Robyn Emory Murray (IPED ’18), and Evan Soloman (M.A., Ethics and Society), were chosen by Dr. Melissa Labonte to participate in the program, which consisted of three phases: online learning modules, walking the Camino de Santiago, and the concluding forum.

IPED students with Provost Freedman

The focus of the program, organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Helsinki España University Network, and the Compostela Group of Universities, was to reflect on human rights, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the value of tourism in achieving those goals. “Walking the Camino was incredible. The idea that people had been walking to Santiago de Compostela for hundreds of years along the routes that we were taking created this tangible connection with history and, for me, Christianity what I had never experienced before.” – Robyn Emory Murray

Owen, Evan, Robyn, and Axelle (KU Leuven) arrive in Santiago de Compostela

Student Owen Fitzgerald ’18 reflects: “Ultimately, this initiative helped me to garner broader knowledge of these rights that are intrinsic to all human beings and to gain a deeper understanding of the impact cross-cultural dialogue can have, especially in the context of tourism. For me, each of the 81 miles hiked served as an opportunity to reflect on these topics with other impassioned students – together on the same journey toward ensuring a more free and peaceful world.”

Countryside in Galicia, Spain

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Fordham IPED Student Interns at the UNDP

Five Fordham IPED students are working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York City. Two of our students, Greg Fischer ’19 and Sarah Garwood ’19, are Arrupe Fellows and have been supporting the UNDP Global Program on Nature for Development since August 2017. Masud Rahman ’19 and Stephanie Swinehart ’19 joined the Nature for Development team this January 2018. Starting this semester, Mariam Tabatadze ’19 supports the UNDP Innovation Facility at the Bureau of Policy and Planning Support.Greg Fischer ’19 is an Arrupe Fellow with the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development. He currently supports the Equator Initiative through work on their e-learning modules, translations of Equator Prize winners’ case studies, and Impact Investing. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Fordham University’s International Political Economy and Development (IPED) program with a concentration in International Development Studies. He completed his undergraduate degree at Augustana College in Secondary Education and History. Prior to working with the UNDP, Greg spent almost five years in São Paulo, Brazil, as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner where he coordinated a social advocacy campaign project for immigration and refugee issues and held a public office position to represent the immigrants in his borough.

Sarah Garwood ’19 is an Arrupe Fellow with the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development supporting the Equator Initiative and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net). She is a graduate student at Fordham University studying International Political Economy and Development with a concentration in International Development Studies. Her research on biodiversity experts expands the capacity of UNDP platforms. She also manages communications and social media campaigns for various projects. Prior to working with the UNDP, she spent two years in Belize City, Belize as a Jesuit Volunteer, supporting education and holistic development programs for at-risk youth. She holds a B.B.A. in International Business and Management from Villanova University.

Masud Rahman ’19 is a Programme Assistant with the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development, and he is assisting the team in Equator Initiative and private finance endeavors, focusing extensively on impact investment matchmaking. He is a Fulbright recipient from Bangladesh currently pursuing M.A. in International Political Economy & Development at Fordham University in New York. He completed his undergraduate degree in business administration before focusing on development economics. He has years of experience working in international development, trade and conservation projects largely in developing countries and underprivileged communities. Sustainable cross-border trade policy and alternative financing vehicles are his fields of interest.
 
Stephanie Swinehart ’19 is a Programme Assistant with the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development supporting the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) and knowledge sharing of strategic programming, including ecosystem services and illegal trade in wildlife. She is a graduate student at Fordham University pursuing an M.A. in International Political Economy & Development. Prior to joining UNDP, she worked in ecological economic research and agricultural consulting and has field experience as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal and as an assistant project manager for a food security and microfinance initiative in Malawi. Stephanie holds a B.S.B.A in Business and International Studies from Saint Louis University. Research interests include resource economics with a focus on sustainable agriculture and ocean initiatives.
Mariam Tabatadze ’19 is a Fulbright scholar from Tbilisi, Georgia and an intern at the Innovation Facility at the Bureau of Policy and Planning Support of the UNDP. Mariam’s work experience as the government counterpart to the UNDP Georgia team on innovation projects enables her to have an in-depth understanding of her current internship. At the Innovation Facility, Mariam helps research cutting-edge technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, to understand their policy implications. Additionally, Mariam assists in monitoring of the projects funded by the Innovation Facility and formulating the stories to be featured in the 2017 Annual Report.

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United Nations Career Trip

By: Sarah Garwood ’19

Friday, October 20th, the first year IPED students embarked upon a full day of meetings and events on the United Nations complex in Manhattan, New York. The day started with a visit to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Equator Initiative office. Jamison Ervin, the manager of the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development, spoke with the group about the Equator Prize, the New York Declaration on Forests, and why climate justice is integral to development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Several Fordham IPED students work at the UNDP Equator Initiative office part time through the Arrupe Fellowship. Students asked questions about development finance, internships, and nature-based solutions for development.

UNDP and Fordham IPED celebrate a robust partnership.

UNDP Jamison Ervin presenting to Fordham IPED students.

After that, the IPED Fordham group headed to the UNICEF office where we were greeted by Liliana Carvajal, Statistics and Monitoring Specialist at UNICEF and 2004 Fordham IPED Alumna. Liliana showed us data on infant and maternal mortality and explained how to use this data to track trends and progress on the SDGs. We also heard from an HR representative to hear more about the application process for potential internships and jobs at UNICEF in New York.

IPED Alumna Liliana Carvajal ’04 at UNICEF.

Fordham IPED students at UNICEF presentation.

Fordham IPED visits UNICEF.

For lunch, we went to the prestigious UN Delegates Dining Room. We shared a meal with our Director, Dr. Henry Schwalbenberg, as well as current and former Alumni who work at the United Nations.

In the afternoon, we were hosted at the United States Mission to the United Nations by Political Advisor to Ambassador Nikki Haley, Leslie Ordeman. He explained the process of creating and relaying policy briefings to the ambassador and international parties. He also shared about his background and what it looks like to choose the Foreign Service Officer path.

Leslie Ordeman, Political Advisor, speaks with students at the US Mission.

The day concluded with a tour of the United Nations Headquarters. Guides showed us the UN Security Council Chamber, the UN General Assembly Hall, exhibits on the damage of nuclear war, and human rights documents, among other pieces. It was inspiring to be in a place where so much happens. Many of us were inspired throughout the day, seeing our dreams up close and within reach.

UN Security Council Chamber.

Students outside the UN Headquarters.

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