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Catherine Bertini

Professor of Practice and Vice Chair, Public Administration and International Affairs

bertini catherine

Contact Information

215F Eggers Hall
(315) 443-1341


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.

Personal Website


PAI 759: Girls' Education 

This seminar course explores 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 analyzes processes for change in United Nations organizations, particularly within voluntarily funded UN organizations and in organizations funded by assessed contributions.

PAI 700-8: Food Security

This course explores the status of world food security, as well as long and short term actions to decrease hunger.   

PAI 765: Humanitarian Action - Challenges, Responses, Results 


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

PAI 753: Executive Leadership

The goal of this course is for students to cultivate and improve their own leadership styles.



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 distinguished 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, she was a member of the Hilton Foundation Humanitarian Prize, a member of the board of the Stuart Family Foundation, and on the board of trustees of the Cortland Regional Medical Center. 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 and participates in a ministry at St. Margaret's Church in Homer, NY.