Claude Bruderlein

Adjunct Lecturer on Global Health

Department of Global Health and Population

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
14 Story Street, 2nd floor
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Phone: +41 79 333 0074


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 conduct of humanitarian negotiation on the frontlines in favor of  populations affected by conflict and natural disasters as well as the role of information technologies in emergency response. He led the elaboration of the first Field Manual on Frontline Humanitarian Negotiation based on ongoing empirical research on negotiation practices in complex environments.

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 in 1998, 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.


Since 2008, Claude Bruderlein teaches a Winter Field Study Course on Humanitarian Negotiation (GHP-543/IGA 353M) in January of each year. Through an experiential learning approach that emphasizes direct engagement with frontline negotiators in a specific complex humanitarian emergency, the course fosters a critical reflection on global public health and public policy issues,  building exchanges between Harvard University graduate students and field practitioners to shed light on professional negotiation practices on the frontlines of humanitarian action. Such cases offers a stimulating political, social and policy environment for graduate students to analyze the various agendas and situational factors involved in a humanitarian crisis through interdisciplinary, scientific lenses while also acquiring a set of technical skills and systematic tools  to engage in crisis negotiation in a proactive and practical manner.

In the previous years, the Winter Field Study Course brought students to explore the impact of military occupation on West Bank youth (2008), the linkages between poverty and conflict in Nepal (2009), the role of women in conflict transformation in Aceh, Indonesia (2010), the fate of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (2011), the response to human trafficking in Europe (2012), gender and human rights in New Delhi (2013), the international response to Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan (2014 – 2015), migration in the Sahel (2016), the impact of the “Separation Wall” on communities in the West Bank (2017), the welfare of Syrian refugees in Jordan (2018), the return of refugees from Lebanon (2019), the impact of the social and financial crisis on the access to health in Lebanon (2020), the challenges and dilemmas to the global COVID-19 vaccination campaign in conflict affected and fragile environments (digital/global) (2021). This course is cross-listed as IGA-353M with the Kennedy School of Government.

The 2022 course will focus on mixed migration flow in Europe. Like previous courses, the Winter Field Study Course is a demanding endeavor for highly motivated and committed students. Student selection takes place through an application and interview process with the instructors. Students interested in critical approaches to international affairs and with prior international experiences are welcome to apply. Prior knowledge of the case is not a requirement. Student registration is subject to the approval of the Faculty Instructor. The application process will be open in early fall 2021. For any questions regarding the application, please contact Maura James at


BA McGill University (Montreal)

Licence en droit (Geneva)

LL.M. Harvard Law School.

Member of the New York Bar Association (1996)