Birgit Lia Fain
Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis.
I am an Economic Affairs Officer at the United Nations, working at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Central American office in Mexico City. At present, my work is split between various areas: firstly, I am the desk officer for Nicaragua, following the economic developments in the country and writing regular reports; secondly, I study the developments in trade and foreign direct investments in our subregion contributing chapters on the topic twice a year; and lastly, I am contributing to various consulting projects in the region. This includes for example the development of a national integrated framework for the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals in Cuba or the support of the medical device sector in Costa Rica.
What interested you about the field you are currently in?
I chose to work for the United Nations as I strongly believe in its overall goals and values.
Why did you choose to study your subject area at SSE?
SSE is a well-known university in the area of economics with a strong focus on strengthening its students’ quantitative skills. It was those skills that I believed were necessary to start a career as an economist in international development organizations.
How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to the career journey you have embarked on?
Apart from the quantitative education and the network of students, a key aspect for me was my exchange at Sciences Po Paris, where I took a range of classes on development economics.
What path did you take from graduation to where you are now? (A few brief bullet points, would be great)?
- 8-months internship at the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Botswana, Africa, on regional economic integration in the SADC region
- 6 months as consultant for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in Erbil, Iraq, working on different projects advising the Regional Government of Kurdistan
- 4 months as Advisor in the German Federal Ministry of Finance in Berlin, Germany, in the Division IMF / International Financial Architecture
- 2,5 years as Associate Statistician at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile, after successfully passing the selection process for the UN Young Professionals Programme
- 3,5 years as Associate Economic Affairs Officer at the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva, Switzerland working on sustainable forest management and forest products
- Since 04/2022 working at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Mexico City, Mexico
Following your time studying and living in Stockholm, do you have any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with our current students?
The area of international development is exciting to work in – and needs well qualified people with innovative ideas who want to make a difference!