Salem Avan on UN peacekeeping and heart-based leadership

UofG Degree: BSc Aeronautical Engineering 1991  

Job title: Director, Policy, Strategy and Governance Division at the United Nations 

Salem Avan has worked on UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, an experience which he tells us fundamentally changed his understanding of the world and how people live.  

Salem progressed from management to leadership roles, and in this episode he discusses the important differences between the two, and why he takes a ‘heart based leadership’ approach, focusing on respect, dignity, equality and psychological safety at work.  

Now based in New York City, he oversees technology within the UN, the projects he leads are seismic and have global impact, such as understanding the financing and travel of terrorists. 

Salem provides a fascinating insight into how the proliferation and development of technology impacts the work of the UN and discusses the topics that will confront humanity in the future, from human rights and ethics in AI, to cyber security and how to govern technology. 

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