For the last 9 years I have been working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in support of refugee services and peacekeeping missions in my native Africa. I have distinguished myself in this capacity by my advanced training and experience in gender sensitivity and respect for the rights of women – something sorely lacking in Africa, particularly in conflict situations. It is this experience that gives me hope that my application to your particularly distinguished Master of Public Administration Program at XXXX University will be looked on with favor.
I have made major contributions to strategically important policy initiatives such as the development and roll out of an Enterprise Risk Management Framework and putting in place measures to assist organizations to address fraud and corruption risks. Earning the MPA Degree at XXXX will increase my value to the UN and the extent to which I will be able to assume greater levels of professional responsibility in the future with this organization. I seek the fullest immersion experience possible in the in-depth study of efficient utilization of resources, harnessing the power of tools, systems, processes, and most of all human resources, to assist the UN at providing the absolute best humanitarian services possible.
Upon completion of the MPA Program at XXXX, I will continue working with the United Nations system, increasingly aspiring to leadership positions that will allow me to design and implement new policies and programs that better address the needs of vulnerable populations in various areas of the World, especially Africa. I keenly look forward to fostering the development of my home country, Guinea, among the poorest in the world. Despite its vast reserves of aluminum, ordinary people have yet to benefit from the development of the mining sector because it is poorly regulated, and corruption is rampant at every level. One of my central, long-term goals is to constructively address this issue by helping to ensure the transparency of contractual agreements for the exploitation of natural resources, with appropriate rules and sound policies put into place geared toward the prevention of corruption. I hope to labor in the construction of a well-defined governance and organizational structure which is currently very much lacking in Guinea, integrating risk management as an integral part of planning strategies.
I very much appreciate the wealth of experience of the faculty in the MPA Program at XXXX, especially in the areas of public and government policies, the relevance of the classes offered in relation to my current position as a public servant, and the diverse background of students from around the world. Your program would be the ultimate learning opportunity, providing me with the advanced knowledge that I need to become as effective as possible in the fulfillment of my responsibilities.
Currently employed by the United Nations, this program fits very well with my personal aspirations and fully aligns with my professional goals. Earning my MPA at Harvard would be the optimal springboard for my professional advancement, enabling me to develop an innovative understanding of public administration, with a special focus on governance and strategic planning, public policy, and negotiation. I will be more effective and have greater future potential for important contributions to development and respect for human rights. Earning the MPA will be my platform for sharing, exchanging, brainstorming on political and socio-economic issues and solutions, with students from all over the world and with diverse backgrounds and professional experiences, hopefully at XXXX.
The MPA will very much complement the MBA that I have already earned by giving me an in-depth, critical focus and state-of-the-art knowledge base in the areas of Governance, Strategic Management, and Policy Development. When I return to my current employer, the UNHCR, I will put what I have learned to particularly beneficial use for the balance of my professional lifetime, streamlining our operations and those of the UN.
Essay 2 - Professional Contribution Essay: Describe your most substantial professional and/or public service contribution in which you exercised a significant leadership role in furthering the public good. (750-word limit)
Throughout the development of my career, I have made significant contributions to a broad variety of private-sector and non-profit organizations, most notably my current position with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). I was a key contributor for the development and implementation of the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) headquartered in New York, as well as the decentralization of the Internal Control Framework (ICF) and Delegation of Authority (DOA) to its field offices in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Central Europe. As a result, financial controls were strengthened, and the funds allocated for numerous humanitarian projects were effectively used and managed. These programs included education and literacy, health, water, and sanitation projects, to name a few.
For some time now, I have been leading the implementation of measures to address fraud and corruption risks at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) headquarters in Kenya, where I serve as a Senior Operations Oversight Officer. By strengthening our organizational structure in coordination with our partners, other UN agencies, and national government entities, we continue to improve reporting mechanisms, facilitating the sharing of information so as to more effectively detect for fraud and corruption, especially with respect to construction contracts and the procurement of fuel for refugee camps, issuance of ID cards and work permits to refugees, as well as inventory and warehousing management for items destined to people of concern. The allocation of UN funds to a variety of projects is therefore safeguarded, making sure that the funds arrive at their designated destination in the service of asylum seekers, refugees, and at-risk migrants, addressing their basic needs and human rights issues in a fair, equitable, and timely manner.
My commitment to public services started when I was sixteen, when I became a member of the Leo Club in my home country of Guinea, West Africa. At the age of nineteen, when I went to Montreal, Canada to pursue my undergraduate studies, I joined the Lions Club “Montreal au Service de l’Enfance” as one of the founding members with a group of friends who were also students at the University of Montreal, McGill University, and the University of Quebec. I served in various capacities, notably Treasurer and as a member of the public relations team. Every summer, when returning to our home countries, we implemented various projects aimed at helping children in need of assistance. One of the projects that I oversaw was bringing clean running water to an orphanage in Guinea.
During my years of public service, I have learned many valuable lessons as an advocate for tolerance, acceptance of other people, generosity, and hard work. I am convinced that the MPA will equip me with additional tools and knowledge that will be of immense value in my commitment to my organization, the UN. In the years to come, I hope to serve as a Representative of the UN in a developing country in either a conflict or post-conflict situation, working closely with and bolstering the capacity of national authorities and helping them to design and implement government reforms leading to sustained economic development.
I thank you for considering my application to Public Administration at XXXX.
International MIPA Sample Statement of Purpose