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Claude Bruderlein Photo
Adjunct Lecturer on Global Health and Population, HSPH

Claude Bruderlein is Adjunct Lecturer on Global 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 humanitarian negotiation. In his research, Mr. Bruderlein focuses particularly on the access to, and protection of populations affected by conflict and natural disasters,  the development of humanitarian law, the promotion of human security strategies, as well as the role of information technologies in emergency response.

He is currently serving 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 directs 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), Médecins- Sans-Frontières (Doctors-Without-Borders) (MSF) and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. 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 to the UN Secretary General on Humanitarian Affairs, 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.

Prof. Bruderlein currently teaches a new full-semester 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 armed conflict, natural disasters, pandemics and other situations of social unrest. For more information about this course, see a short video here. Enrolment is limited and requires the consent of the Instructor. Interested students should submit an application through this form. Application will be reviewed on a rolling basis in August 2020.

During the Winter Session 2021, Claude Bruderlein will be teaching an intensive three-week course undertaking a critical review of the global response to COVID-19 from a humanitarian perspective (GHP 543/ IGA 353M). The course will look in particular to the multilateral response to the pandemic, its impact in conflict environments and undertake a strategic analysis as  framework to address global crises. 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 pandemic.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both courses will be offered virtually, using interactive and collaborative platforms across time zones. These platforms are specifically suited to facilitate direct engagements with humanitarian negotiators operating on the frontlines. The design of the courses is also benefitting from the support and collaboration of the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation.

It is expected that the traditional winter field course on humanitarian negotiation will again stake place in 2022 over the January semester (GHP-543) during which students conduct a supervised three-week assessment mission to study a specific humanitarian challenge. 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. 

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Outside Professional Activities For Claude Bruderlein

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

International Organization

Strategic Advisor to the President

Director of the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation

October 2012 - ongoing



Human Rights
Decision Making & Negotiation
International Relations & Security

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