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 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.


Claude Bruderlein currently teaches a new full-semester course on “Conducting Negotiation on the Frontlines” (GHP 243) cross-listed at the Harvard Kennedy School (MLD 234) 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, a joint ICRC, WFP, UNHCR, MSF and HD partnership based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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. 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). This course is cross-listed as IGA-353M with the Kennedy School of Government.


BA McGill University (Montreal)

Licence en droit (Geneva)

LL.M. Harvard Law School.

Member of the New York Bar Association (1996)