Claude Bruderlein Photo

Claude Bruderlein is Adjunct Lecturer on Global Health at the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health and Senior Researcher at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He also holds a secondary appointment at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he teaches strategic planning and frontline negotiation. In his research, Mr. Bruderlein focuses particularly on the conduct of negotiation in complex and hostile environments.

He served as Strategic Advisor to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, focusing on strategic relationships, communities of practice and institutional development. He also founded the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), a joint endeavour of the ICRC, the World Food Program (WFP), the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Médecins- Sans-Frontières (Doctors-Without-Borders) (MSF). In 2010, he co-founded the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection and serves as its first President of the Board until 2012.

Before joining Harvard University, Mr. Bruderlein served as Special Adviser om Humanitarian Affairs to the UN Secretary General, focusing particularly on issues related to the negotiation of humanitarian access and the targeting of sanctions. He worked on negotiation of access in Afghanistan and North Korea. He also served as an independent expert to the UN Security Council on the humanitarian impact of sanctions in Sudan, Burundi, and Sierra Leone. He has previously worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a field delegate in Iran, Israel and the Occupied Territories, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Yemen.

During the Winter Session 2023, Claude Bruderlein will be teaching an intensive three-week Frontline Negotiation Lab undertaking a critical review of the humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis in Europe (GHP 543/ IGA 353M). The course will look in particular to the negotiation practices among humanitarian agencies dealing with migrant flows in Europe.  As an experiential learning course, it will provide students with first hand-sight perspectives on crisis management and negotiation from professionals working on the frontlines of the migration crisis.The design of the courses is also benefitting from the support and collaboration of the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation. Since 2008 the Winter Field Study Course explored topics including the impact of military occupation on West Bank youth, the linkages between poverty and conflict in Nepal, the role of women in conflict transformation in Indonesia, gender and human rights in New Delhi, the international response to Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, the welfare of Syrian refugees in Jordan, the impact of the social and financial crisis on the access to health in Lebanon. For a short video presentation of the 2023 Frontline Negotiation Lab, click here.

Prof. Bruderlein teaches a Spring course on “Conducting Negotiation on the Frontlines” (MLD 234) cross-listed at the Harvard School of Public Health (GHP 243) during which students are exposed to frontlines negotiation practices in diverse situations of social unrest. 


Human Rights
Decision Making & Negotiation
International Relations & Security