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Francis James

Position and company: Resident Representative, UN Development Programme
Country of work: Gabon
Degree Attained at UCLA: JD, UCLA School of Law
Graduation Year: 1990
What inspired or motivated you to pursue work abroad? Was this always your plan?
Yes, I was always motivated by the love of languages, travel, different cultures and a sense of service. There is a vast world beyond southern California and the United States. Feed that curious and adventurous soul and inner voice!
What would you say to a UCLA student who is planning on having an international career?
Take the road less traveled. Dare to be different, innovate, and think out-of-the-box. Life is so much more interesting and fulfilling when you go outside of your comfort zone.
What sort of opportunities has working abroad presented you with?
I have worked on development issues, human rights and legal reform in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Haiti, Darfur, Burundi and now in Central Africa. It has been an amazing journey and I am eternally grateful to UCLA for having given me the tools and foundation to have had such a rich professional life.
Are you involved in any international UCLA alumni groups or support networks?
Yes, I act as a mentor to interested UCLA law students who aspire to international careers at the UN.