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25 October 2017
Recap of Fall 2017 Young Professionals' Career Dinner Series

On Saturday, October 14, 2017, UNA-NCA invited students and young professionals to participate in its semi-annual Young Professional Career Dinner series.

This signature event is held every fall and spring and is an opportunity for young professionals to discuss global career paths and network with experienced professionals in their fields of interest. The Fall 2017 Dinner Series kicked off with a networking reception at the United Nations Foundation, where around 80 participants and speakers had the chance to meet and swap business cards. Stephen Moseley, President of UNA-NCA, and Paula Boland, Executive Director of UNA-NCA, welcomed guests to the evening’s event, before turning over the stage to our keynote speaker, Andy Rabens, who is the Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues at the U.S. Department of State.

Andy Rabens delivered a keynote speech that set the tone for the evening. His enthusiasm and passion for international affairs was contagious as he encouraged participants to pursue careers in government and international affairs. He offered three main points of advice to the attendees: “1) Keep pushing; don’t take rejection personally; and cast a wide net; 2) Continue to focus on building your leadership skill-sets for down the road; 3) Foreign Affairs begins in your backyard - neighborhood, ward, community - and broadens globally.” In his role as Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues, Andy focuses on helping the U.S. Government better engage young people internationally to help solve the pressing challenges of today while also building greater global connectivity and networks to shape a more secure and prosperous future. He leads efforts to coordinate and amplify global youth policy and initiatives. Prior to joining the State Department in 2008, Andy worked for United States Senator Dianne Feinstein and for the Rt. Honorable Ed Miliband in the UK Parliament.

After entertaining questions from the audience, Andy spoke with participants one-one-one as everyone made their way to one of the seven topical dinners held at the UN Foundation and in homes of UNA-NCA board members in DC and Arlington.

This season’s dinners focused on Careers in the United Nations, Careers in Sustainability, Careers in Human Rights, Careers in Global Health, Careers in Technology for Development and Social Entrepreneurship, Careers in Managing International Conflict and Careers in Working Globally and Locally to Implement the SDGs. Several of these dinners were hosted in private homes around the DC Metro Area – including two in DC and one in Northern Virginia – while others were held at the United Nations Foundation. Professional speakers in each of these topics offered career advice and guidance, and shared personal stories of experience in their particular fields. Attendees were encouraged to ask specific or general questions about the field, and engage in conversation in a uniquely intimate and comfortable setting.

The event was part of UNA-NCA’s month-long UN Day celebrations. In the reception closing, Laura Blyler, UNA-NCA VP of Young Professionals and Lanice Williams, UNA-NCA Chair of Young Professionals, reminded participants of the UN month theme “Global goals, local leaders” and challenged participants to volunteer with local organizations to develop skills needed for their career. Consider getting involved with UNA-NCA to develop skills related to event planning, fundraising, and public speaking. If you want to get involved with the Young Professionals program in particular, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Did you join us on Saturday night? See if you can spot and tag yourself in our photo album!

Thank you to the United Nations Foundation for the use of its facilities, UNA-USA staff for their logistical support, our distinguished speakers for their expertise, the evening’s hosts and sponsors, and UNA-NCA’s Young Professionals Program and volunteers.

The Young Professionals Career Dinners are hosted semi-annually: in the spring and fall of each year. We hope you’ll join us for the Spring 2018 edition!