Name: Haddy Jeng
Organization: Embassy of The Republic of The Gambia and Mission to The European Communities
Functional Title: Deputy Head of Mission
Country: Gambia
Course participated in: Master of Advanced Studies in European and International Governance

Haddy Jeng graduated from the University of Gambia in 2009 with a degree in political science and sociology. She then worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for two years before completing a master’s degree at the Diplomatic Academy of Azerbaijan on a government scholarship. She has also taken diplomatic training courses from the Foreign Service Academy of Pakistan and the Diplomatic Academy of Turkey.

Last year she came to Geneva to take Master of Advanced Studies in European and International Governance, co-organized by UNITAR and the University of Geneva.

Before taking the Master’s programme, her work as a director at the Ministry was in the African division, where she dealt with African relations and foreign policy issues, many of which were connected to European countries. She was also the national focal person for the Euro-African Dialogue for Migration and Development. She felt that she needed to learn more about the European system of governance to perform more effectively, and to see how her work in Gambia related to global issues:

“When I saw the Master’s programme, I felt it fit perfectly into my vision for my career and went for it.”

The course was made up of several modules that covered a range of topics including international peace and security, health, environment, and migration. The European government module was a standout, involving a mission trip to the European capital in Brussels, where the participants visited the parliament and various European Union organizations.

Haddy found the content of the course extremely applicable to her line of work, especially when she was assigned to the Euro-African summit in November: “Everything I learnt in the module helped me to understand the European system and what was needed for a partnership and cooperation to exist between Europe and Africa.”

She thinks of Geneva as the birthplace of her career: “When I came here to do the Master’s programme, I realized that this was my calling and that I really wanted to understand the dynamics between Europe and Africa.” She has now been posted to mission in the EU Capital in Brussels, where she is Deputy Head of Mission: “Everything I learnt in the Master’s has been very helpful in making me more efficient in my work.”

She says that working as a young diplomat, “you see a lot of things that you don’t understand, but the Master’s explains a lot of these things, it equips you with the skills to analyse what you see.” It has also enabled her to make a larger impact:

“You can put your country in a better place because you can analyse situations and recommend policies that would benefit your country, and more widely your continent - in my case Africa.”

It is her passion: “For me, this is not just a job but a career, I believe this is a lifelong journey.”

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