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The PSLawNet Blog How to Work for the United Nations or Other Inter-Governmental Organizations

Today's post on possible career routes into Inter-Governmental Organizations like the United Nations comes from Sara Rakita, Associate Director of the Public Interest Law Center at New York University School of Law. Sara has worked extensively on human rights and the rule of law, primarily in Africa. Before joining PILC in 2006, she served as a long-term consultant to the Ford Foundation, where she was responsible for piloting and setting up TrustAfrica, a new African grant-making foundation that is now based in Senegal. Sara spent five years as an Africa Researcher at Human Rights Watch, including two years as the organization's representative in Rwanda. Sara has also consulted for Amnesty International, Global Rights, USAID, and the Austrian development agency. Sara holds a J.D. from NYU, an M.I.A. from Columbia University, and a B.A. in international studies from The American University. She is fluent in French and has a working knowledge of Spanish and Russian.
Lots of people would love to work for the United Nations or other Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs), but it's not always apparent how to get there. Indeed, there is no single path. In an effort to demystify a process that is not always transparent, this post will explain some of the main channels into IGOs.

As a baseline, it helps to have a background in international law, foreign language skills, and experience working and living abroad. But, even with all of this, this is still a VERY challenging sector to break into. Getting a job at IGOs or the UN takes a whole lot of networking, persistence, and creativity - with a measure of luck and being in the right place (and often knowing the right people) at the right time.

Click here for the entire post. There are a ton of resources.