September is an extra busy time at QUNO as we greet new Programme Assistants. In New York, this role is filled by two candidates every year and the position makes a crucial contribution to the running of our office and our engagement at the UN. This year, we are delighted to welcome Natalie Dewar and Nyeri Otero Flanagan to join our team.
Natalie holds an Master's degree in French and International Relations from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where she also recently completed a Master of Letters in Peacebuilding and Mediation. In a recent office conversation, Natalie explained that “the focus in my academic work has been on uplifting local voices and perspectives in issues of peace, social justice, and conflict transformation. Because of this, I’m excited to contribute to QUNO’s efforts to work towards long-term, sustainable peace”.
Nyeri has a background in Anthropology underpinned by a culturally diverse upbringing in both Colombia and the UK. Growing up in a Quaker family has inspired Nyeri to engage with Quaker work at the international level. Nyeri noted that “the work QUNO does to facilitate trust and communication really resonates with me”. She went on to describe her ambitions for the coming year, “I want to build on my interest in cross-cultural and holistic approaches to public health and data production, and explore the approach that QUNO takes in advocating for peace that focuses on the needs of people and communities”.
While welcoming Natalie and Nyeri, QUNO NY is sad to say goodbye to outgoing Programme Assistants, Sigrid Corry and Sadhbh O’Driscoll.
Sigrid is going on to do a PhD at the London School of Economics, where she will be researching European border infrastructures. In reflecting on her year at QUNO, Sigrid noted that a highlight has been working with the UN Israel Palestine NGO Working Group and engaging with civil society campaigns against apartheid. Sigrid explained that “this past year has been an important step in my wider aim to contribute to policy and research that centres the voices of grassroots and marginalized peoples”.
During the past year, Sadhbh worked closely with QUNO Representative, Kavita Desai, to help shape and develop new QUNO work on youth, peace, and inclusion. This experience provided her with the opportunity to learn new skills in the area of group facilitation and public speaking, including delivering a statement at the UN on meaningful youth engagement.
If you are interested in learning more about our Programme Assistant positions, please visit here. Applications for 2024-2025 will open before the end of 2023.