February 19, 2003 - Harvard: UNICEF Chief Bellamy urges Careers in Both Private and Public Sectors

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Carol Bellamy: October 7, 1993-May 1, 1995 : Bellamy: February 19, 2003 - Harvard: UNICEF Chief Bellamy urges Careers in Both Private and Public Sectors

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UNICEF Chief Bellamy urges Careers in Both Private and Public Sectors

UNICEF Chief Bellamy urges Careers in Both Private and Public Sectors

UNICEF Chief Urges Careers in Both Private and Public Sectors

By Miranda Daniloff Mancusi

February 20, 2003 -- UNICEF chief Carol Bellamy encouraged students to broaden their horizons by considering careers that span both the private and public sectors. Bellamy spoke to a receptive crowd in the ARCO Forum on Wednesday night as part of the International Career fair sponsored by the Office of Career Services. "We live in extraordinary times where the possibility exists to work in both sectors," she said.

Despite traditional "suspicion" between the two sectors, "there is a lot the two can contribute to each other," she said. Private sector employees tend to think of public professionals as a "little retarded" she quipped, "well meaning, but not up to doing a real job." Conversely the public sector thinks the private sector is not concerned with "wanting to do good in the world." Both can learn from each other. "Public sector often has to manage in a more difficult environment," she said, while private sector business skills can translate well to the public arena.

Bellamy said her own career has spanned both sectors, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, as a New York state senator, as the first woman president of the New York City Council, as an investment banker for seven years, as director of the Peace Corps -- the first volunteer ever to serve as director. " I had a special bond with the volunteers - anemic dysentery is an extraordinary bond," she joked. She has been Executive Director of UNICEF -- The United Nations Children's Fund -- since 1995.

Bellamy, a former Institute of Politics Fellow (1975), spoke passionately about the need for flexibility in the rapidly changing environment of international development and humanitarian assistance. "North Korea, Cuba and development agencies are the only ones that have five year plans that never change," she joked.

Poverty, HIV/AIDS and the changing nature of war are three major challenges to the field. "We have to deal with the extraordinary disparities of poverty, especially poverty in the face of economic growth," she said. To Bellamy, HIV/AIDS is "not a health issue, but a societal functional issue." While the pandemic has hit parts of Africa the hardest and challenged the functioning of whole nations on that continent, the disease has the potential to destabilize huge portions of the world, she noted.

Bellamy added that the changing nature of war has proven to be a huge challenge to the field. Mid- 20th century war was primarily between nations. More recently wars are largely fought within countries with multiple parties where the victims are mostly civilians. Now, she observed, "humanitarian agencies are also becoming targets."

Yet, the demand for professionals in the international development and humanitarian arena has never been more intense than it is now, she said. "We need to think of it less as a matter of charity… but as helping people help themselves [and] creating an environment where we add value."

Home Page Photo: Miranda Daniloff Mancusi

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Story Source: Harvard

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