Locale : Global (English)
Caroline conducting a market assessment in Kano, Nigeria

Nigeria / Environment / Sub-divisional manager

Caroline la Chapelle

Caroline discussing the quality of locally produced soap in Kano, Nigeria

Mott MacDonald is an employee-owned company which gives the flexibility to do what is in the best interests of clients, partners and staff

Why did you choose to join Mott MacDonald?

After 21 years working in the public sector I was invited to join Euroconsult Mott MacDonald just after Euroconsult was taken over by Mott MacDonald in 2007. It was not difficult to reply positively as I knew Euroconsult was a company working in the same areas as I was working in (developing countries and countries in transition) and with the same attitude towards excellence and integrity as I have. Even more important for my decision was the fact that Mott MacDonald is an employee-owned company which gives the flexibility to do what is in the best interests of clients, partners and staff to ensure sustainable development.

What is the best thing about your job/role?

Seeing sparkling eyes when we are delivering solutions for public and private sector customers that are adding value to their everyday life. My personal motivation has always been to contribute to a better world by working together with people in such a way that capacity is built, ownership created and developments achieved in a sustainable way. Seeing the smiles on faces when the first water is running in a new water supply system or from proud people with the vegetables they were able to grown on their irrigated land and can be sold on the market, or the children in their new classroom with the well trained teacher, then I know why I want to work so hard! At the moment I’m the country representative of Mott MacDonald/Cambridge Education in Nigeria and it makes me proud to see how all our Nigerian staff are living up to the PRIDE values under challenging circumstances.

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

Staff at Mott MacDonald are very motivated to achieve efficient solutions at the highest technical standards in a safe way. Becoming more and more a global company this requires collaboration between the different units and divisions. We are good at communicating to each other and always look to get better in taking joint decisions in how we will work together.

What project will be one you tell your kids about?

There are so many good memories on projects in several countries, especially those projects that were implemented over a period of three years or longer because that gives you enough time to really get acquainted with the local circumstances and make friends all over the world.

Good memories I have on the project providing environmental and social oversight for the Millennium Challenge Account in Mongolia between 2009 and 2013. At a certain moment we had 34 staff working on the project, 12 internationals and 22 Mongolians. The team developed new policies and guidelines that were adopted by the Mongolian government on resettlement, dealing with hazardous materials in construction projects, conflict resolution mechanisms and environmental management systems.

But also on the project in Moldova were a team of 26 staff between 2010 and 2015 who were able to establish and legally register eleven irrigation water users’ associations (WUAs), providing participatory organisational development and institutional strengthening services through capacity building, and over forty training topics. In that project we also developed a web-based “one-stop shop” for environmental authorisations for special water use and two relational databases in what became known as the Water Resources Information System in Moldova.

Lots of stories can be told on the water projects I’m working on in South Sudan, building new urban water supply systems and new boreholes for water for the rural communities. Contributing to the water policy in the youngest country of the world is a challenge, but very rewarding to do.

When you’re not in the office where can you be found?

Most likely travelling to or from one of our projects. And if that's not the case then you have a good chance to meet me on a skiing slope or a sailing boat.

If you could go on a road trip with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and where would you go?

With Chinggis Khaan to learn how he was able to unite so many different tribes and make them achieve one goal together and how he was able to travel so fast and to communicate so well without internet and telephones.

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