Watch: A conversation with IOM HR chief Michael Emery

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The COVID-19 crisis has, within weeks, upended the way we work. International travel, a hallmark of a global development career, is halted. Many of us are now working from home alongside partners, children, and a host of other responsibilities and distractions. Organizational priorities are being shifted, funding threatened, and with furloughs and layoffs already happening in some organizations, there is mass uncertainty around the future of jobs and employment in our sector.

To help our community understand what this all means for careers and the workplace, I am launching a video series of conversations with human resources leaders, career experts, and other industry figures to get their take. While this moment presents enormous challenges, it also provides an opportunity for accelerating much-needed reforms in how and where we work. There will be an extraordinary demand for new skills and expertise to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in some of the most vulnerable countries, even as a number of projects may see cuts.

Whether you are managing talent within your organization or thinking about your own career, this series is meant to provide guidance for navigating these challenges and shed light on new opportunities on the horizon.

In my first interview, I sat down with Michael Emery, head of human resources at the International Organization for Migration, to chat about its expansion of psychosocial support programs, catalyzing a modernized U.N. work environment, and new job opportunities as a result of the crisis.

Have questions or concerns you want me to explore in this series? Please leave them as comments below.

Watch more from the series:
UNHCR’s Catty Bennet Sattler discusses how the agency is innovating and how the pandemic is impacting recruitment.
RTI International's Bucky Fairfax gives his advice for repackaging expertise in the COVID-19 era.

We’ve removed our paywall for this article — previously for Career Account members and Pro subscribers only — to provide access to accurate information and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are interested in more in-depth global development career coverage, visit our Career membership page.

About the author

  • Kate Warren

    Kate Warren is Executive Vice President and resident talent and careers guru at Devex. With 15 years of global development recruitment experience advising international NGOs, consulting firms, and donor agencies, she has a finger on the pulse of hiring trends across the industry and insider knowledge on what it takes to break in.