River Hustad is a Senior Legal Adviser at the OSCE HCNM ( OSCE )

Join River and other outstanding OSCE HCNM employees for a live webinar on Wednesday, 28 April 2021 at 12h (CET). Register by clicking here!

I've had two parallel careers, which have both merged into the OSCE. On the one hand, I started my professional life as a civil rights lawyer in the USA while, on the other hand, I added an academic career at the Norwegian Center for Human Rights. I juggled the two for several years, enjoying the hands-on, fast pace of a practitioner as well as the in-depth analysis of a researcher and teacher. At the HCNM, I am a Senior Legal Advisor with responsibilities in the Western Balkans. The position combines the practice of law with the theory of academia, carrying thoughts into action. It has the excitement of implementing law ‘on the ground’ combined with the satisfaction of working with research-based, international norms.

Working for the OSCE HCNM is a unique opportunity. What I like the most is its diversity. The interactions with people from diverse backgrounds is not only a great experience, but also facilitates open-mindedness outside of entrenched cultural boxes. The same can be said about working with different legal systems.

What could be better than co-operating with thousands of other individuals toward humanity's goal of security in all its dimensions? If you're interested in international civil service and more specifically in the OSCE, I would say study hard and get relevant experience, but most important is for you  to have the passion and moral courage necessary  to seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change, one step at a time.

The OSCE has room for all types of competencies. While I do not have a lengthy background in civil service or previous expertise in my geographic area of responsibility, my contribution is in the added value of a different perspective or different ways of approaching the subject matters under my portfolio. My background on poverty research also bolsters an integrated approach to working with minority issues. I find the OSCE HCNM is the perfect place for me to explore my talents and put them to good use towards the comprehensive approach to security.