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Tanya Vella
Head of Mission , Government
Madrid , Spain
Bilingual English/French, international law background, currently Ambassador to Spain and Andorra and previously Ambassador to Tunisia, over 15 years experience in United Nations headquarters and UNESCO, seeks challenging assignments, consultancies in advocacy, mediation, alternative dispute resolution. Available Jan 2013.
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Area of Expertise:
  • Capacity Building, Training, Advocacy, Political
Professional Experience:
The noble goals which inspired the creation of the UN have always driven my determination,from a young age,to join the UN. I started my first consultancy jobs for the UN Centre for Transnational Corporations while working as a paralegal in a NY law firm. At 26, I joined the UN Legal Office covering the work of the UN General Assembly Legal Committee as a very junior staff member and worked my way up to positions of increasing responsibility within the Organisation, handling discipilinary and legal proceedings and dossiers in the UN internal justice system in the Office of the Under Secretary General for Administration and Management. At 34 I moved to Europe for family reasons, and worked in the UNESCO Legal Office, defending management in disputes with staff at the ILO Administrative Tribunal and subsequently to Human Resources Management and Culture Sector. These different skills gave me a comprehensive overview of the inner workings of international organisations both at programme execution and policy level. This proved invaluable when I was called to represent my government covering multilateral relations first as deputy head of mission in our Paris Embassy and subsequently in bilateral relations as head of mission in Tunisia and Spain where I am currently serving. I have also operated my own consulting company, with several interesting assignments eg drafting the cultural heritage law for Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Dayton Peace Accords, research assignments for international organisations. Over the years I have enjoyed being in touch with students and sharing a practioner's view which I find mutually enriching. I have lectured and tutored Masters students in Human rights and Democratisation at the University of Malta Law faculty and currently volunteer in curriculum development in a Spanish university network. After gaining considerable experience in government diplomacy at a senior level, I would like to devote a few sabbatical years to teaching, advocacy and advisory assignments with ngos and universities.
I graduated in Law from the University of Malta in 1979 (LL.D) ---awarded the Colombos Scholarship in international law on being placed first in Public International Law - thesis on "The role played by UN General Assembly resolutions in the evolution of International Law" . I specialised in the Law of the Sea, Air Law, the Law of International Institutions and International Economic Law at University College London obtaining an LL.M in 1980. Summer course on Human Rights at the Hague Academy of International Law in 2003.
Available for:
  • Consulting assignments
  • Job opportunities

    Years of Experience:
    More than 20 years
    Highest Qualification:
    English, French, Maltese Italian basic Spanish Arabic
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