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OISE alum Fabian Garcia uses his teaching and policy skills to fight for human rights

Introducing Fabian Garcia, B.Ed, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Ecuador to the United Nations, New York

Fabian garcia


Can you tell us about your career journey and current priorities with the United Nations?

After graduating from OISE, I worked at international schools in Egypt and Ecuador. In 2006, I decided to expand my career options, so I joined the Ecuadorian Foreign Service. My first posting was in Germany, and since 2016 I have worked at the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations in New York. I am a delegate to the Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and human rights issues, including the right to education.

My current role encompasses attending meetings at the UN, negotiating broad policy proposals with representatives from other Member States, and delivering resolutions that contain multilateral decisions or recommendations on a specific topic.


You graduated with your bachelor of education from OISE. What sets the institute apart from other faculties of education?

I obtained my bachelor degree at OISE, but I obtained my master’s degree in education at a foreign university. Therefore, I can definitely say that OISE is at the cutting edge of education. The quality of the instructors, the research and the available programs put OISE well ahead of the rest.  

Name a time you were inspired by an OISE professor or course

I took a course on Theories and Practices of Alternative Education and Schooling. It really inspired me to see things from different perspectives. There was never a right or wrong answer, only the need to think critically and continuously analyze the complexity of education and how to improve the system for the benefit of students.

What's your favourite memory at OISE?

The course on Alternative Education included a field trip to visit some alternative schools around Toronto, including SEED and Oasis. These were eye-opening encounters. We heard from teachers and students about the richness of their educational experience.

We hear your partner Ana Bahamonde encouraged you to attend OISE. That's great! How did that conversation go?

I have an undergrad major in Environment and Resource Management, and I was working at a company that delivered natural gas. I did not find my job academically stimulating, so Ana, who had just graduated from OISE, suggested that I should apply to the teaching program. She said I would love the program. I started by gaining some experience by volunteering at Frontier College. 

Ana was right; she’s an amazing teacher and school counselor. Her advice changed my life.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments, personally and professionally?

Of course, I would like to think that my greatest accomplishment is yet to come. However, I must say that personally my family is a constant source of happiness and stability. My professional career has taken me to very interesting places, I have met incredible people, although I still aspire to complete a doctorate degree at the University of Toronto.

What advice would you give to OISE's current students and future teachers?

Teachers don’t get the recognition they deserve. However, I would advise students at OISE not to feel discouraged. At the end of the day, teaching remains one of the most fulfilling and indispensable careers in any culture. Although I have left the classroom to pursue other goals, I constantly miss it.


With OISE I can...

"Explore exciting opportunities."