Work for the U.N.; help the oppressed (Bosnia)

Tomoko Sayama, nee Kase. St. Catherine’s graduate in Political Science --International Relations 1994 with a minor in justice and peace studies from St. Thomas.

After graduation, Tomoko pursued a Masters’ degree at Long Island University designed for United Nations personnel, working part-time at the United Nations on the campaign to ban land mines.  

Having completed that study, she worked full time for the United Nations at its New York headquarters for about a year, then volunteered to work in Bosnia.  

Her first foreign post was in Zagreb as Assistant to the Regional Director of Japanese Emergency NGOs.  Soon she was sent to open a new field office in Gorazde, an isolated and insecure location.  She comments, “That was the first experience in my life without basic needs in daily life.”  

In the summer of 1998 she was selected as a Programme Officer, later she became head, of the United Nations Volunteers Programme Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her duties included executing three UNV projects, recruitment of UNV specialists to Bosnia-Herzegovina and to other countries, supervising administrative backstopping of UNV specialists, and external relations.  

Returning to Japan, she worked three years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Tokyo, then as recruiting manager in General Electric.  Since marrying in the summer of 2005, she has been working from her home in an Australian recruiting firm, Asia Partnership  as a Senior Consultant, seeking cross-cultural, bilingual candidates from Universities and Graduate schools in Japan and abroad for foreign investors in Japan and China. Anyone need a job?

Tomoko continues peace activities by sharing her experiences in Bosnia-Herzegovina at local Toastmasters Club meetings.