SIPA Alumni Speaker Series: United Nations

Li-Wen Zhang Presentation

Last month, SIPA alumni Dr. Li-Wen Zhang and Mr. Tshering Gyaltshen (Getse) Penjor spoke to current students about their extensive work experience at the United Nations.

Dr. Zhang, an Adjunct Professor at the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, served at the UN’s New York Headquarters for 27 years, and has worked in a variety of UN departments and offices including the Department of Political Affairs and the UN Security Council. Mr. Penjor, who achieved his MPA degree from the Program in Economic Policy Management (PEMP) in 1999, currently works as the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the UN in New York.

Lin Wu (PEPM ’15) was able to attend the presentation and spoke with Dr. Zhang afterwards.

“Dr. Zhang shared her 27 years of work experience at the UN Headquarters, and introduced the structure of the organization as well as the internship and job opportunities at the UN,” Lin said.

The Executive Deputy Director of the House and Urban-Rural Development Bureau in China’s ShuShan District in the Anhui Province, Lin has more than ten years of work experience in economic development and project planning agencies. In his work, he has administered project planning and implementation for various urban infrastructure and public housing projects.

“When I consulted Dr. Zhang about internships, she gave helpful suggestions based on my background and future career development,” Lin added.

Shahrzad Mohtadi (MPA’15) responded to Mr. Penjor’s presentation:

“The session did clarify the importance of having an internship to increase one’s prospects of getting a job at the UN. The speakers were very helpful in sharing their differing experiences, and also enlightened us on the UN’s quota system, as well as consultant versus international diplomat positions available.”

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