Read about Irina Ioana Salanta

Irina Ioana Salanta
Information Security Officer
International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism – Syria, United Nations Office at Geneva


What brought you to a career in technology at the United Nations?

I have a track record of working in the Private Sector with a solid background in Cyber Security in Banking as well as in Management and Technology consulting for the financial and automotive industries. However, I have always been driven to pursue a career in Human Rights. Despite having gained a lot of knowledge and a great network in the Private Sector, once I saw IIIM Syria’s mandate to facilitate justice for international crimes committed in Syria and understood what it stood for, I immediately acknowledged that this was the purpose I was aiming for and that I would want to work here, so I applied for the role of Information Security Officer. In my current capacity in IIIM Syria, one of the core objectives is to ensure that sensitive information that IIIM maintains and shares with relevant stakeholders is done in a secure manner. This entails not only identifying and implementing necessary security measures but also raising staff awareness and advising on existing threats, tools that we use and established security policies and procedures. This is the type of role in which I feel that my expertise as an Information Security Officer, together with the positive impact that the IIIM Syria’s mandate generates on people’s lives, is the meaning I was lacking in my previous career steps, and which brought me to the UN.


What has been your favorite IT project at the United Nations and what was your technical contribution?

My favorite project at the UN has been working on the implementation of security monitoring tools and subsequently a centralized log management platform for my organization. As a result of the project, IIIM Syria gains a better visibility into the IT environment it operates in and is now better positioned in identifying and responding to security threats. This project is particularly interesting to me because it involved identifying the specifications to meet the unique needs of my organization, as well as working closely with different teams to ensure successful implementation and adoption.


What advice would you give women interested in pursuing a field in technology?

  • Take every challenge as an opportunity.
  • Believe in yourself and be confident that you can overcome any obstacle.
  • Try to learn continuously and tirelessly, this will enhance your knowledge/skills and provide you with competitive advantages.
  • Push your limits and see how far you can go; comfort zones can defeat your potential.
  • Never give up!