Maxwell School

Catherine Bertini

Professor of Practice, Public Administration and International Affairs

bertini catherine

Contact Information

351 Eggers Hall
(315) 443-1341


B.A., State University of New York at Albany, 1971


International organizations, United Nations, humanitarian relief, agricultural development, education of girls, hunger and food security

Personal Website


PAI 759: Girls' Education

This seminar course will explore the benefits of girl's education, will discuss many of the obstacles to higher numbers of girls in school, and will review the current state of play in various countries.

PAI 764: United Nations Organizations – Managing for Change

This class will analyze processes for change in United Nations organizations, particularly within voluntarily funded UN organizations and in organizations funded by assessed contributions.

PAI 765: Humanitarian Action – Challenges, Responses, Results

This course will examines major humanitarian challenges worldwide since 1992, including disasters caused by nature and by man, conflicts, and major economic stress.

PAI 719: Post Conflict Reconstruction

The goal of this class is to familiarize students with the broad literature on post conflict reconstruction, the various dimensions and goals of post-conflict work, the types of actors that conduct it, the trade-offs and dilemmas they face, and the lessons learned from its application across various settings.

PAI 711: Practicum in International Organizations

The course involves a five-day-per-week internship in one of the many international organizations located in Geneva. The internship is intended to provide students with exposure to the day-to-day problems and challenges faced by a particular international organization. The internship is augmented by an initial orientation in which concepts of how to understand the workings of international organizations are presented as well as visits to a number of offices for briefings. Then there are evening seminars that consist of guest lectures by international officials, and of group presentations by students on topics related to their area of work. Receptions and group meals provide the opportunity to extend discussions beyond the seminar room. In addition to the group presentation, students use the summer to develop a topic for an independent research paper due at the end of August. The students are evaluated on the basis of participation in the seminar, the group presentation, their internship performance, and the research paper.

PAI 753: Executive Leadership

(Under development for June 2013)
The goal of this course is for you to cultivate your own leadership style and help you transition from student to professional. Topics covered include: Interest-based negotiation as leadership, work and conflict self assessment, negotiation in groups, managerial mediation as leadership, working with the media, ethical leadership, persuasion and advocacy as leadership, collaborative problem solving as leadership, negotiating in networks, entrepreneurship and creativity as leadership, and leadership styles and assessments.


Catherine Bertini is Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Ms. Bertini is also a senior fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. For two years she was a senior fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  She previously served as United Nations Under Secretary-General for Management (2003-2005), as Executive Director of the UN World Food Program (1992-2002), and as Assistant Secretary for Food and Consumer Services at USDA (1989-92).

Ms. Bertini is the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate. She was awarded the Borlaug CAST Communication Award in 2011, the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition in 2007, and 12 honorary doctorates from universities in four countries. She was decorated by the Republic of Italy with its Order of Merit. The Republic of Ireland has honored her with its Certificate of Irish Heritage.

Ms. Bertini was appointed by President Bush and reappointed by President Obama to the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development. She serves as a member of the board of directors of the Tupperware Brands Corporation, a jury member of the Hilton Foundation Humanitarian Prize, a member of the board of the Stuart Family Foundation, and on the Audit Advisory Committee of UN Women. In 2012, she served as a member of the Accountability Review Board on Benghazi.

With her $250,000 World Food Prize as a base, WFP/USA created the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls Education which supports initiatives in developing countries to educate girls and women. Currently, the Central New York Living History museum in Cortland displays part of her collection of "Women at Work Around the World.” Bertini plays clarinet in Cortland Old Timers Band. 




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Maxwell School of Syracuse University | 200 Eggers Hall | Syracuse, NY 13244-1020 | 315.443.2252