Chevening Alumnus Hamza Tber takes us through his career journey, explaining how he reached each major milestone in his professional life and how he stayed true to his purpose throughout: tackling the climate crisis from an environmental and developmental perspective.

Stage 1: Finding my purpose
2007 – MSc Environment and Development, Chevening Scholarship

I was very fortunate to be awarded a Chevening Scholarship to study at the London School of Economics (LSE), and I can safely say that this was a game changer in my personal and professional journey.

It was during my bachelor’s in international studies and cooperation that I realised that environmental issues would be among the main drivers of international relations and geopolitics, and that they would even shape the socio-economic development pathways of the coming decades. This is especially true for countries from the Global South.

That is why I decided to pursue a master’s degree in Environment and Development. The climate crisis is of course one of the key environmental and developmental issues of our time and my master’s degree reinforced my conviction that this was the career I wanted to pursue. It is not only an incredibly stimulating intellectual challenge, but it also gives me purpose.

Stage 2: Embedding my purpose at home
2010 – OCP SA, Strategy and Partnerships Division
2012 – OCP SA, International Public Affairs and Public Relations Division

Upon graduating from LSE, I went back to my home country of Morocco where I joined the newly created sustainability team of a major company working at the intersection of agriculture and development.

This was in 2010 and at the time professional online social networks were less commonly used than today, so I had to leverage my network of friends the old-fashioned way: a friend of mine sent my resume and that is how I landed the interview.

Stage 3: Yearning for change, finding my focus
2016 – COP22, Chief of Staff to the Ambassador for Multilateral Negotiations; Senior Advisor and acting Chief of Staff to the COP President
2018 – Climate Action Network, Program Director

After more than 5 years with that company, I yearned for change and I wanted to focus more closely on the climate issue.

In 2016, following the adoption of the Paris Agreement, Morocco was designated to host the next UN climate conference: COP22. I tried to figure out who among my friends and former colleagues could help me get introduced to the COP leadership team on the government side. It so happened that a former colleague knew the ambassador who was appointed to lead the multilateral negotiations. After a few discussions with him, the ambassador asked me to be his chief of staff. He turned out to be an amazing mentor who has had a profound and lasting impact on my career. Later on, before the end of Morocco’s COP22 Presidency mandate, I also became a senior advisor and acting chief of staff for the COP President, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco.

This experience was a turning point in my career and in my life. This amazing platform allowed me to meet a very vast network of people and organisations, all key actors in the climate “ecosystem”: from NGOs, to country negotiators, to indigenous people organisations.

In turn, this network helped me to reach the next milestone in my career. At the end of the COP22 Presidency in late 2017, I was offered the position of Program Director at the Climate Action Network (CAN International), the largest network of environmental NGOs and the entity that serves as their focal point with the UNFCCC. I oversaw CAN’s policy work as well as the sustainable finance and energy tracks.

Stage 5: Joining the UN
2019 – United Nations, Senior Policy Manager
2020 – United Nations, Climate Action Team

In 2018, I was approached by the newly appointed director of the UN Secretary General climate team in New York, who offered me to join the team as a senior policy manager. She had previously been an advisor to the COP21 President, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and we had grown to know and respect each other. When she offered me this opportunity, I knew it would be yet another step change in my career. As part of this team, I helped organise the 2019 Climate Action Summit with a special focus on infrastructure and the urban agenda (how cities and local governments can act to reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts).

In 2019, I was then asked by the UN Deputy Secretary General to take the lead on engaging with the development finance institutions (mainly the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) with regards to climate finance. I was also the policy lead on Africa, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and MENA countries. I was in this role throughout the COVID crisis and up until after COP26 was held in Glasgow.

Stage 6: Impacting the public, private, and social sectors
2022 – Boston Consulting Group, Associate Director in climate and sustainability practice

In 2022, for family reasons, I had to leave my position at the UN and was offered a job with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as an Associate Director in climate and sustainability practice. BCG has been a champion of climate action and I am today very fortunate to help the organisation deliver value and impact across the globe for the public, private, and social sectors.

Looking back: Lessons learned

Throughout my journey, what I learned is that the power of networks is essential not only to help you with your own career path but most importantly to drive collective action. There is nothing meaningful one can do alone; this is true for individuals but even for whole countries when it comes to facing the defining challenges of our time, such as climate change.

My recommendation is to nurture your networks, meet people, develop friendships, and meaningful working relations. This is how you will affect positive change for yourself and hopefully for the world. The first such network, in our case, is our Chevening family.


Hamza at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit

Related news

My career since Chevening: Bam Baraguir

Between 2017-2018 Bam Baraguir was a Chevening Scholar studying at the University of Bradford. Discover how her Chevening experience elevated her career.

Career advice I wish I could give my younger self

Developing an advanced skill set and building meaningful professional relationships: the two pillars of professional success. We speak with medical doctor, global health specialist and 2017 Chevening Alum, Dr Frederick Mate.