Alumni Spotlight: Carlos Guemez, Costa Rica

Alumni Spotlight

Carlos Guemez shares his road safety journey as a DRSC Alumnus

Written by 2017 DRSC Alumnus Carlos Roberto Guemez Shedden.

I am a mechanical engineer by training. I started working in road safety in 2010 as part of Costa Rica’s Road Safety Council (Cosevi). My role involved conducting research projects in order to develop national programs and policies for vehicle safety, education and speed management.

In 2017 I attended Delft Road Safety Courses (DRSC) with a scholarship from the FIA Foundation. This experience changed my career considerable. During the course I met Ewan Reekie, a classmate who was working as a Security Superintendent at Bapco, the Bahrain Petroleum Company.

Following our participation on the course Ewan offered me a job as a full-time road safety specialist at Bapco. At the time, Bapco was on a mission to improve its occupational road safety management and reduce the number of road traffic crashes within the company.

Thus, I started working for Bapco in 2019. It was an interesting experience in which I applied many lessons learnt at DRSC. This included key skills in conducting road safety management capacity reviews and designing road safety strategies.

These tools were extremely useful in helping me to understand deeply how road safety was administered in the corporation, and they clarified the path for designing a comprehensive road safety strategy based on the Safe System Approach to road safety.

Since 2021 I have been working as the Senior Road Safety Coordinator at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. I am now responsible for road safety across the whole organization, this includes operations in more than 120 countries around the world. It is no small task, and I am on a mission to share my learning and experiences with as many people as possible to improve global road safety.

Earlier this year, I organized a two-day seminar series for over 100 members of staff in charge of fleet management, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), risk management, programs, and administration as well as partner organizations operating UNHCR ambulances.

This involved working closely with one of DRSC’s lecturers, Emma MacLennan and the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST) along with the IRU, to identify countermeasures that could be adopted globally within UNHCR’s road safety management structure and raise awareness about the importance of fleet safety management.

Since participating in DRSC 5 years ago, my career has grown and developed beyond what I could have imagined. I am extremely grateful to Cosevi, the FIA Foundation, and DRSC for the opportunity I was given and I look forward to continuing my mission to improve road safety globally.

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