Emeritus Professor of Practice, Public Administration and International Affairs
B.A., State University of New York at Albany, 1971
International relations, foreign affairs, international organizations, United Nations, leadership, humanitarian relief, agricultural development, education of girls, hunger and food security.
Catherine Bertini is an emeritus professor. For twelve years (2005-17), she was
professor practice in public administration
and international affairs
at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
She is an accomplished
leader in international organization management, humanitarian action, hunger, nutrition and gender issues, with a distinguished career in improving the efficiency and operations
of organizations serving poor and hungry people in the United States and
throughout the world.
Currently, she is a Rockefeller Foundation
fellow, working on recommendations for enhanced global emergency and pandemic
is also a distinguished fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where
she continues to work on policy recommendations for improving the lives of
rural girls. Earlier, she co-led, with former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, a
successful initiative to advise the US government to prioritize agricultural
development in its foreign assistance programs.
Bertini is a member of the board of
directors of the Tupperware Brands Corporation, a company that empowers over
three million women a year through its business. She also serves on the boards
of the Global Food Banking Network and of the Stuart Family Foundation.
She is on the advisory board of the Scowcroft Institute at the Bush
School of Public Service at Texas A&M University, is an affiliated expert
of the Lugar Center, and a patron of the Gender in Agricultural Partnership
She was the first American to be appointed
Executive Director of the United Nation’s
World Food Program (WFP), serving two terms from
1992-2002, recommended by President Bush and for
reappointment by President Clinton. There she transformed the agency
into the world’s largest and most responsive humanitarian relief organization,
delivering life-sustaining food aid to over 700 million people in more than 100
countries. In 2003 she was awarded the prestigious World
Food Prize for her transformative work at WFP .
At WFP, and at age 42, she was the third
woman named to lead a UN agency. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
appointed Bertini as UN Undersecretary-General
for Management (2003-05), with responsibility
for the organization’s $3 billion biennial budget for
human, financial and physical resources of the UN secretariat.
Bertini was nominated by
President George H. W. Bush and confirmed by the US Senate to be Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Food
and Consumer Services, managing a $33 billion budget that included the food
stamp program, school meals and WIC. She was appointed by President George W Bush and
reappointed by President Obama to the Board of International Food and
Agricultural Development (BIFAD). In 2012 she served on the five member
Accountability Review Board on Benghazi.
In 2007-2009 she was senior
fellow for agriculture development at the Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation. She was also a member of the jury of the Hilton
Humanitarian Prize. She has also served in state and in local governments, and
on a variety of international boards in the fields of nutrition, humanitarian
response, and for women. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences (AAAS), the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), and
the International Union of Food Science and Technology. She is a member
of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
She has received numerous awards including
honorary doctorates from twelve 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. Her undergraduate alma mater gave her its highest award,
the Medallion of the University of Albany.
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.