Senior Legal Counsel in finance and international development at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Class of 2000.
Studied Law at Cambridge University, then Legal Practice Course at BPP in London.
I then completed a training contract and worked for several years as a qualified solicitor at Linklaters - first in London and then Dubai before transferring from the private sector to international development at the Green Climate Fund. I joined Gavi recently as their lawyer leading their financing.
I have had several influences leading me to a job trying to make a difference.
I took a gap year after Owen's - teaching English and undertaking community work in Nepal for 9 months. This had a huge influence on me and my sense that I could make an impact on the world.
I focused some of my studies at Cambridge on international law and a dissertation on legal initiatives to tackle corruption through transparent reporting, and an Erasmus year where I focused on comparative law and conflict studies. Where possible, I undertook internships and experience in development - leveraging what few connections I had - with Global Witness in London, Al Haq in Ramallah, and research for Harvard University.
I trained at Linklaters - an international law firm - which gave me experience in international finance. I chose to use my time there to prepare myself, my career, and my experience (and my bank account!) to be able to move into a lower paid job in the public/non-profit sector. I completed a part time MSc in Development Management at the Open University, and did pro bono initiatives to build my CV of non-profit experience. I took opportunities to travel and work internationally and as an in-house lawyer, which enabled me to show my ability to work in different cultural environments. As well as working on international finance transactions, I undertook investigations into corruption and efforts to tackle it - leading to some front page UK headlines. This decision to broaden my areas of expertise gave me exposure to more clients in a range of jurisdictions, and more ways to appeal to different jobs and employers.
Ultimately this allowed me to demonstrate my ability and willingness to work on development matters. I have chosen to use my legal skills on some of the biggest challenges facing the world - addressing climate change and its effects with the Green Climate Fund, and addressing vaccine inequality with Gavi.
Persistence and a belief that hard work can pay off and open doors.
Hard to pick one out, but I think back to the breadth of opportunities through music, sport and other activities.