Voices: Giuseppe Mancinelli
"The JPO experience was diverse and intense and it definitively shaped my career at UNOPS." -
Deputy Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office (LCO)
"I first started as a Junior Professional Officer (JPO) with UNOPS in 2000, in Guatemala. During this time I was responsible for designing and evaluating many projects involving rehabilitation, human rights, social reintegration, poverty eradication and local economic development. An example of the work I did was supporting those disabled by the armed conflict as well as a project aimed at strengthening the civil power in Guatemala, both implemented on behalf of UNDP.
"After one year I was reassigned to El Salvador for three years. I spent four years in total as a JPO, three of which were paid by the Italian Government, and the last year by UNOPS. During this period I acted as Operations Centre Director and UNOPS Representative to El Salvador. I also conducted many complex and large scale national and international procurement exercises for goods and services. In addition, I developed and executed the El Salvador office’s strategic plan to provide more support to our partners and assure appropriate income resources for self-sustainability.
"At the conclusion of my JPO assignment, I continued working for UNOPS. In 2008 I was assigned to Peru as Operations Centre Director. During this time I acted as Country Representative for UNOPS to other UN agencies and international organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank and European Union. This position involved interacting with these international partners and the Government of Peru, trying to increase the profile of the partnerships and demonstrate UNOPS experience and capacity. My other responsibilities included increasing the effectiveness and quality of delivery of the Peru portfolio to help project managers complete projects on time, within budget, with full cost recovery, and in line with partner expectations.
"Overall, my JPO experience was very rewarding and full of learning experiences. It was a fantastic opportunity to experience the world of the United Nations, with responsibilities that were many and varied, including project management, as well as exposure to donors, governments and the UN environment. I had autonomy to implement projects and promote initiatives and was continually supported by my supervisors.
"The JPO experience was diverse and intense and it definitively shaped my career at UNOPS. It was an official entry point into the UN which gave me a structured career progression. It allowed me to manage hands-on projects and to deal with local partners in the beginning stages of projects, identifying their needs and building relationships based on trust. And finally, it formed within me a commitment and passion for the work I do.
"I have remained in UNOPS since starting as a JPO, and I am currently the Deputy Regional Director in Panama for the Latin America and the Caribbean Office.
"Working for UNOPS is very rewarding. I feel I can help shape the future of the organization, contributing to our strategic plan and various initiatives. I am able to bring results to partners and people in need through effective project management and quality services. The most rewarding part is being able to see the results of our work on the ground."