Carl Adams

Carl Adams works in international development and humanitarian response with the United Nations Development Programme. He is studying a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) specialising in International Law, part-time.

“I am passionate about coordination and policy in complex humanitarian emergencies. I have seen first-hand the importance of timely and sound decision making in crisis management. It is often challenging as the environment is uncertain, dynamic, and limited information is available. These studies through the Master of Legal Studies will help towards a personal goal of finding more effective way to respond to the legal issues in humanitarian crisis."

No stranger to study, Carl holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Development from Massey University, and a Master of Arts in Development Studies from the University of Auckland.

Over the last decade, Carl worked across the world, including earthquake and tsunami responses in Nepal and Indonesia, and refugee crisis in Bangladesh with Swiss Aid Agency Medair. More recently, he was the International Programme Director with NZ Aid Agency Tearfund. In 2022 he joined the United Nations (United Nations Development Programme) as Localisation Advisor for the Rohingya refugee response. In this role, he seeks to better engage people affected by crisis in the planning, delivery and accountability of humanitarian action.

As a recipient of a University of Auckland Law School Postgraduate Scholarship, Carl is leveraging vast work experience and prior study to help him find effective ways to respond to legal issues in humanitarian crises – and explore a career in humanitarian coordination, policy and international diplomacy.

Carl’s delve into postgraduate study was driven by a desire to synthesize and get close up to into topics he is deeply interested in.

“My research focusses on issues relating to refugee displacement and conflict. Drivers of conflict and conflict resolution are dynamic and complex and researching these areas connects to many other disciplines – including history, politics, economics, public policy, geography, among others.

“I also enjoy the exposure to a wide range of topics offers by the Master level papers along with the balance to specialise and work closely with academic staff.

Carl’s transition to postgraduate study has been smooth.

“I am from Auckland, and I chose to study at the Auckland Law School because it has the best reputation in New Zealand. The online and intensive courses are compatible with my work schedule and the academic and professional staff have been very supportive in terms of learning, guidance, and publishing work.

“I also enjoy small class sizes and the opportunity to learn from the diverse backgrounds and experiences of my classmates.”

Carl was profiled as one of the University of Auckland 40 under 40. Watch his interview here: