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Vladimir Reyes has been working for the UN for the last 29 years. He recently joined Umoja's Central Support Services Team.

Do colleagues from other departments ask you what Umoja is?

A lot of staff are learning about Umoja these days. Many think it's a technical system that will replace IMIS, but it's so much more. Umoja is about reforming UN administrative processes and improving the way we do UN business. So Umoja is a reform process and a technical application.

What is your role on the Umoja team?

I joined Umoja's Central Support Services Team in a temporary position as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). My role is to share my UN experience in administration and information technology...over the years I've worked in procurement, peacekeeping and most recently as a service desk manager in OICT/UNHQ. I'm helping Umoja colleagues understand all the different systems that staff use to request assistance - for computer problems, office maintenance, conference name it. We're trying to develop new ways of handling these queries so that they are fulfilled faster and more efficiently.

What is Umoja's working environment like?

You have to adjust, work fast, improvise and adapt. The space itself is not your typical UNHQ office layout. We have an open space structure and you are aware of what everyone is doing. It is conducive to open communication but it can limit your concentration sometimes. I have been fortunate to have worked in the field so I know how to simply work with what's available.

Why did you join Umoja?

I was excited by the idea of helping make significant improvements in the way we do things. I've worked at the UN for 29 years so it's a pleasure to participate in a reform of this scope.

What do you like about your job?
I like learning about how Umoja will bring our Organization together. We are so used to working in our own little worlds and getting 5 signatures on a piece of paper just because it's always been done that way. Here I get to figure out how we can work outside our own silos.

Is Umoja hiring?

Yes! Check out the UN Careers Portal ( and do a search for vacancies in the Department of Administration and Management - the Office of the Under-Secretary-General.

And to learn more about Umoja, check out our intranet portal called Umoja NET. You can register through our public site at

Find Umoja vacancies on UN Careers Portal by using these search parameters:

Originally published on iSeek in English and French on 15 April 2011