n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / work
introduction
experience
summary cv [as of 04/2016]

LinkedIn profile
 
These days...

...I'm interested in part-time writing, editing and related assignments.  My default preference is to work from home, but if you have intelligence and integrity, and if you believe in professional excellence, I can show up wherever we need to be.
Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations

FAO Gender

10/2013~
  Writer & Editor

I'm currently working on a series of stories for FAO's Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division (ESW). The stories are meant to illustrate how understanding gender — men, women, boys and girls, and the roles and responsibilities that they have in agricultural, economic and social contexts — is crucial to global development.

I love when I get to do writing like this in the development-sphere, because the goal of the writing is to be accessible, direct and non-esoteric, and to illustrate that "simple" doesn't equal "simplistic." Also, it doesn't hurt that — regardless of who wrote them — these are great stories in terms of what these women did and how they did it.

Click here to see the first set of stories.
Lorenzo de'Medici Institute

Department of Communications
Department of Writing


09/2007~
  Professor / Adjunct Faculty

I teach undergraduate creative writing and communication theory to US university students doing study abroad in Rome. (I love it.) For now, the courses I teach include:

- Travel Writing, which focuses on both creative writing and literary appreciation in the context of travel — in particular the study abroad experience. The course enables students to develop and refine both general and specific writing skills, by looking at the literary "greats" of travel literature, and by writing and workshopping their own pieces. Students from the class have gone on to write for The American Magazine, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, the Huffington Post, the New York State Conservationist, and more...

- Intercultural Communications, which provides a base in intercultural or cross-cultural communication theory, looks at cultural differences and their role in effective communication (or lack thereof) in an ever more globalized world. In addition to learning (and learning to apply / use) the key theoretical models that enable general intercultural competence, students also get to explore specific intercultural communication issues and approaches in the context of their study abroad experience in Italy. I promise it's more fun that it sounds.
Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations

TC Intranet

02/2012~10/2013
  Communication Specialist

For almost two years, I worked with the departmental communications team in FAO's Technical Cooperation Department (TC) on internal communications (in particular, via the TC Intranet).

Areas of expertise and responsibility included:
- content strategy and implementation — both at general and specific levels (planning, sourcing and individual article / story development);
- writing / editing and proofing / revision for both internal communications and external media, on a range of subjects within the larger context of FAO's work in international development and technical cooperation (agricultural investment, south-south cooperation, emergencies / emergency projects in forestry, fisheries, and other technical areas);
- Information Architecture / user experience and usability;
- day-to-day management of static and dynamic site areas (for both text and graphics);
- community management / moderation; and
- reporting / analysis of web traffic data.

Thanks to a past life as a computer geek (shh, don't tell anyone), I also did some light coding and customization for the TC Intranet, and was able to liaise with CIO on quicker / easier processing times for new features, fixes and changes.

At the very beginning of my time with TC, my work centered on planning and organizing for the launch of the TC Intranet website itself. I worked on content planning / preparation and entry, and managed most of the day-to-day coordination (with staff in both TC and CIO) on content decisions, technical requirements, quality assurance and problem resolution, and overall site readiness.
Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations

Global Forum for Food Security & Nutrition

06/2011~01/2012
  Writer & Editor

I drafted, wrote, and edited a book-length publication for FAO's Global Forum for Food Security & Nutrition, to showcase some of the Forumís most significant online discussions and illustrate the value of knowledge sharing for improved food security and nutrition.

My work involved the analysis of detailed technical content on themes ranging from Women in Agriculture to Food Security Governance; interviews with discussion facilitators and participants around the world; and the building of a cohesive, overarching narrative for the book, to spotlight tangible "wins" in collaborative information exchange.

Both in terms of process and final product, this is one of my favorite projects: because it was extremely challenging in terms of the depth and breadth of subject matter involved; because it was extremely rewarding at the same time; and because I think the work that the Forum does is incredibly important and relevant — not just in the context of food security and nutrition, but in the larger sense of how we need to think about working in global development today.

Click here to view and/or download the publication.
Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations

State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11

07/2011~12/2011
  Writer / Scriptwriter

This project was a joint collaboration with the Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division (ESW) and the Agricultural Development Economics Division (ESA) at FAO. The idea was to produce a short, animated video / "short" to illustrate key messages from the 2010-11 edition of FAO's flagship publication, the State of Food and Agriculture.

My work included interviews and fact-finding / research through FAO's technical divisions (for typical / real life stories and scenarios), concept and content / story development, storyboarding and support towards animation and production, and writing / editing for a companion web site that was launched along with the video.

Click here to see the site and watch the video (2 minutes, 16 seconds).
Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations

CountrySTAT for Sub-Saharan Africa

07/2008~04/2011
  Communication Officer & Reports Officer

Responsible for CountrySTATís external, "corporate" communication and messaging for print, audio and video at international, regional and national levels: through management of the CountrySTAT Communication unit at FAO headquarters; through coordinated supervision of national communication / media consultants in the projectís 17 countries; and through the development / implementation of the projectís Communication Strategy and Country Communication Plans. Key achievements included: a standard workflow for collecting media outputs (print, audio, video) for storage and reuse in CountrySTAT Media Kits and for the CountrySTAT Channel on YouTube; and a customized media tracking and archiving system for measuring the impact of communication / media activities in the international, regional and national press.

Also responsible for all internal and donor-related project reporting and communications: annual and quarterly progress reports; grant and project proposals; planning and strategy documents; briefings, press releases, presentations and speeches. Key achievements included: a structured monitoring and reporting system to collect and coordinate information on project activities from team members and country-based stakeholders, for quick and easy presentation via project "dashboards" and summaries.

Knowledge-management and information-sharing (within the project team; across FAO and other UN agencies, and with relevant development organizations and initiatives) for improved teamwork and learning / sharing of best practices; stronger collaboration with partners and stakeholders; and greater project visibility, awareness and advocacy.

Communication, facilitation, reporting and support to cross-divisional and corporate activities beyond CountrySTAT: ES Strategic Communication Team; World Food Day; Fifth International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS-V); and ES Senior Management Workshops.
Bell Canada / Sympatico

Service.Sympatico Site Re-Design

10/2006~08/2007
  Technical Writer & Information Architect

Bell Sympatico is the Internet arm of Canadaís largest and best-known communications company, with over 2.4 million English- and French-speaking customers on dial-up, high-speed and combined subscriptions — all of whom are users of the companyís bi-lingual customer support web site, Service.Sympatico.

Responsible for content inventories, sitemaps and user flows for existing pages towards a phased approach for content re-categorization, restructuring and revision. Developed and revised content to follow identified Information Architecture and copy guidelines, and helped coordinate content approval cycles and translation processes. Worked on quality assurance of site-wide content (including proofing, functional- and flow-validation).
Government of Canada - Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Embassy of Canada in Italy

03/2006~07/2007
  Technical Writer & Trainer

As part of a technical implementation across the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Canadian Embassy in Rome piloted a custom-built contact management system (specially designed and developed in Berlin, Germany) for managing diplomatic and political contacts, and special events. Roles and responsibilities included:
- development of course outlines/materials, execution of training courses, workshops, exercises.
- analysis and understanding (at technical and business-user levels) of the new system.
- translation/simplification of current business processes via user-interviews, meetings and audits.
- inter-departmental co-ordination of new system.
- design, development and documentation for multi-user training and documentation systems.
Razorfish

 

07/1999~10/2002
  Technologist

Work at Razorfish included:
- "Straight" Tech: analyzing client problems and defining phased and structured solutions based on time / materials, user needs and IT / project-management best-practices; implementation and programming for selected solutions across multiple platforms, user-environments and technologies.
- Bizdev & Strategy: client pitches, RFPs, and presentations; as well as IT strategy services (competitive analyses, proposals and special papers).
- Management & Comms: coordinating and managing technology project teams (identifying and allocating tasks, timelines, and dependencies).; managing client communications and reporting throughout the project process; internal knowledge management and training activities.