Catherine Ann Bertini

Professor of Public Administration and
International Affairs
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Full Biography
Hi-res Photo

Areas of Professional Expertise:
Agricultural Development
Food Security
Nutrition Policy
Food Aid
Humanitarian Relief
Girls' Education
United Nations
International Organizations
Leadership and Management
Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Syracuse University
351 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
Phone: 315-443-1341

Twitter: @C_A_Bertini

Assistant: Sallie Guyder
Phone: 315-443-4022
Catherine Bertini joined the faculty of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 2005. As a Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, she taught and currently teaches graduate courses in Humanitarian Action, UN Management, Girls’ Education, International Organizations, Executive Leadership, and Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Her courses draw on the vast experience she gained during a career spanning public service at international, national, state, and local levels, and private sector and foundation experience.

United Nations

Most notably, Ms. Bertini’s leadership of the UN World Food Programme transformed WFP into the world’s largest and most responsive humanitarian organization. As WFP’s Executive Director, first proposed by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, and re-endorsed by President Bill Clinton in 1997, Ms. Bertini led the efforts to end famine in North Korea, avert starvation in Afghanistan, ensure food was delivered effectively during crises in Bosnia and Kosovo, prevent mass starvation in the Horn of Africa and focusing on women as the key to ending hunger. Because of her reforms, WFP was held as the model for UN efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. Ms. Bertini was named the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate for her leadership at WFP in ending famine and decreasing hunger. Later, Ms. Bertini served as the Under Secretary General for Management and as UN Security Coordinator. Secretary General Kofi Annan also appointed her as his Humanitarian Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Gaza and the West Bank.

Federal Government

Currently, Ms. Bertini serves as a member of the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development, which advises USAID, having been appointed by President George W. Bush and reappointed by President Barrack Obama. Previously, she served as the Assistant Secretary of Food and Consumer services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where she drove nationwide implementation of electronic benefit transfer programs, created a food package for breastfeeding mothers, and oversaw the design of the Food Guide Pyramid.


Private Sector/Foundations

Currently she is senior fellow at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs.  She serves as a board member of the Stuart Family Foundation, a juror of the Hilton Foundation Humanitarian Prize, and on the Board of Directors of the Tupperware Brands Corporation. For two years, she was the Senior Fellow of Agricultural Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ms. Bertini earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Albany and has been accorded with numerous awards, commendations, and honorary degrees.

Public Affairs Appointments (pdf)

Honorary Degrees and Awards (pdf)