"There is nothing a woman cannot do," says UN Somalia’s top female driver

08 Jun 2015

Tess and Philippe Lazzarini, UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Representative for the UN in Somalia.
Have you met Tess Rono, senior driver at the UN in Somalia? She was the first woman to be employed as a driver in the UN in Somalia, and today is one of the highest ranked drivers in the system. “She is a fearless woman!” says Philippe Lazzarini, Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN in Somalia. Tess is his official driver when he is in Nairobi. Tess has worked with Resident Coordinators and Representatives since 1994 – her previous supervisors read like a ‘who’s who’ at the UN in Somalia, including Walid Musa, Erlin Dessau, Dominic Laggenbacher, Randolph Kent, Maxwell Gaylard, Eric Laroche, and Mark Bowden. Tess aspires to work more on the actual programmes through which the UN delivers humanitarian and development assistance.   Before joining United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Somalia, Tess trained as a driver and studied elementary Mechanical Engineering at Kenya National Youth Service training facility.  When she started working for UNDP in 1994 there were very few women drivers around in Kenya. Thanks to her focus and tenacity she rose through the ranks to reach the demanding position she occupies today. Tess has to be very flexible, … Read more