Name: Mauricio Antonio Roman Saenz
Nationality: Costa Rican
Organisation: Save the Children International / Middle East and Eastern Europe Regional Office
Role: Regional HR Director for Middle East & Eastern Europe Regional Office
Education: MBA Human Resources, MBA Marketing & Sales, MBA International Business, Degree in Political Sciences
What is your background? What did you do/study before working for Save the Children?
Before Save the Children International, I have worked for almost 10 years in the humanitarian industry with another large INGO. Before that, I worked for a multinational company for 6 years in Strategic Planning and Organizational Development and leading the HR function across 20 countries in more than 12 different business units. Previous to that, I had more than 8 years’ experience in the foreign trade environment.
What made you decide to apply for your current role?
My commitment to work for children in humanitarian organizations, as well as my expertise in the Middle East and Eastern Europe region (as well as in Latin America).
What single fact would surprise people the most about you?
My certified profile as a Mental Health First Aid Supporter
What first attracted you to work for Save the Children?
It is a child focus organization, its reputation and quality programming, and its child safe programming/guarding principles.
What is the best thing about working for Save the Children?
The strategic focus in children needs and the strong direction from leadership to deliver on that regards.
What are your proudest achievements within your career?
Overall they are about putting in place the right human capital serving children in the field in the best of their capacity, by developing positive leadership managing that human capital, strengthening their high performance and quality, supported by human resources systems enabling that human capital to reach all their capacity, heading to a culture of collaboration, innovation and delivery of results in the field, but also influencing towards these aims the global hr management within the organization.
What has been your greatest challenge during your career?
To adapt human capital systems to the different diverse contexts and influencing leadership to perform in the best of their capacity.
Is there anything about working at Save the Children, or at a specific location that you did not expect when starting?
The need to innovate how to operate in difficult environments due to its constraints or limitations were not all expected, but this is the nature of the work in MEEE.
What do you believe is/are the most important skill(s) needed for an international career in your job field?
Positive and multiplying leadership along with state of the art knowledge in the area or your professional expertise, at the same time you learn from each relevant piece along the value chain delivering services to the children in the field.
What would be the most useful piece of advice you would give to someone who would like to start his/her career in an international non-governmental organisation?
All sectors of society are needed and important to work together: private sector, government sector as well as the so call third sector (NGO, CSO). The opportunity is about getting to know how we can make the three of them to talk to each other.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience working at Save the Children?
To serve the children is the most valued and personal transforming experience I have had in my life, on which all of us have an opportunity to do it so.