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Nicholas Lananna: UNICEF’s travel management revolutionized

Nicholas Lananna, Chief of Travel and Transportation Unit at UNICEF.
NEW YORK, 28 October 2004 – The year 2004 marks Nicholas Lananna’s 30th anniversary of work in international travel management – a career he finds not only exciting, but also challenging. 

“I enjoy the action of travel. The airlines, the hustle and bustle, last minute arrangements and negotiating with airlines for the best possible price. Most rewarding, though, is getting staff to their destinations as fast as possible,” says Mr. Lananna of his work.

Mr. Lananna has been with UNICEF since 1992. International travel is indispensable for UNICEF staff, since the organization works in nearly 160 countries around the world. Trips range from diplomatic visits to field missions, often in remote locations. Mr. Lananna’s team arranges all travel needs, dealing with nearly every airline in the world.

Mr. Lananna and his team have modernized and streamlined UNICEF’s travel process. In the early years, the travel process was done manually - all travel authorizations and claims were prepared by hand on typewriters; flights were researched out of a bulky guidebook.

Today, UNICEF has an automated travel management system, capable of tracking the progress from the beginning of travel, right up to final payment in numerous currencies. The system was one-of-a kind when it was first implemented by UNICEF in 1992; since that time, similar systems have come into widespread use by airlines around the world.

 “We do a tremendous amount of work in pricing to save UNICEF money. At the same time, we want to balance that with providing safe travel. We are constantly negotiating to enable staff to fly where they need to go on good, safe airlines - but at the best price,” emphasizes Mr. Lananna. Based on this principle, the procurement costs of airline tickets have been lowered drastically during Mr. Lananna’s tenure as Chief of Travel – making it possible for more resources to be dedicated to programmes.

Mr. Lananna feels very privileged and grateful to have had the opportunity to work for UNICEF. “We, UNICEF, are giving children hope; helping to shape lives and give children the opportunity to live happy lives, so that they can raise their own families one day and take care of their own children,” says Mr. Lananna.

Under his leadership, the travel and transportation team is currently heavily involved in further upgrading the travel management system with the latest technology. “I have always had this philosophy – this is my little piece of world and I want to make a contribution to make it a better place,” says Mr. Lananna.




28 October 2004: Nicholas Lananna discusses his experiences in travel management for UNICEF.

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