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 teaches courses in Humanitarian Action, UN Management, Girl's 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.
Most notably, Ms. Bertini’s leadership of the UN World Food Programme transformed WFP into the world’s largest humanitarian organization. As WFP’s Executive Director, first proposed by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, and reendorsed 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, and prevent mass starvation in the Horn of Africa. 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 and to Gaza and the West Bank.
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.