Read about Reem Abou Ibrahim

Reem Abou Ibrahim
Associate Information and Evidence Officer, International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism


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

I started my career in forensic technology with the private sector, working on corporate disputes, litigations, and financial crime investigations. From there, I got to know of the IIIM, and the projects performed in the United Nations with a focus on human rights and war crimes. It was an opportunity to practice and improve my technical career in a non-traditional aspect, given that the more conventional area for a career in forensic technology is within the private sector. It was a new challenge, with a different data landscape and a different operational model.


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

It would be tough to single out a favourite project since each project had distinct areas and challenges. But a common factor I have enjoyed is tackling the disparate data landscape and fitting it to the electronic discovery reference model. While my experience in the private sector prepared me for many of the challenges I face at the UN, some challenges are unique. In my current role, I handle information and evidence in many different formats—not only text documents, but also videos, imagery, databases, social media materials, and data from an ever-expanding list of platforms. As such, I worked on developing a streamlined workflow for incorporating online resources of data into the evidentiary process. This involved integrating digital tools and platforms to capture, authenticate and analyse relevant internet-based data, allowing for a more comprehensive investigation.


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

An advice that I was given by a woman, which has stayed in the back of my mind is that I should practice my job authentically and unapologetically in every aspect of my professional life, and not let challenges discourage me or change my ground. There really is not a handbook on how every project should be implemented. You will have your own style and methods and it is normal that you will face resistance, so do not let that deter you from your goals or cause you self-doubt!