CAS Leading within IOs

This program enables participants to sharpen leadership and management skills required in the International Organizations, NGOs, NPOs or social enterprises. It also empowers participants to enhance their communication skills and lead in a globalized world.



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18 ECTS credits
144 Teaching hours




On-site – switch over to online-learning if required


+41 (0)22 379 98 81


Uni-Mail, Geneva


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Modules can be followed individually


  • CHF 9'500.-
  • CHF 1'800.- (individual modules)


  • Master advanced management skills and practices applicable to intergovernmental, public and non-profit organizations
  • Strengthen your skills in leadership, communication and team management
  • Access an extensive network of professionals and build strategic connections in a competitive international environment
  • Bridge the gap between corporate business and international cooperation and examine out-of-the box approaches


The program is designed for professionals who work for – or aspire to work for – IOs, NGOs, NPOs or Social Enterprise in managerial positions as well as professionals from the private sector looking for a career shift.

Learning outcomes

  • Develop your leadership and management skills and increase your team or organization performance
  • Apply fundamental concepts of management in complex organizational settings
  • Outline key factors in successful global partnerships contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


6 modules divided as follows:

6 core-modules (mandatory modules):

  • Change Management (blended)
  • Cross-Sector Partnerships
  • Conflict resolution in Business and Politics
  • Designing Development Projects
  • Managing Complex Operations
  • Results Based Management



Prof. Judith SCHREMPF-STIRLING and Stéphane MERGENTHALER, Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM), University of Geneva


Lorine BARRIER, University of Geneva
The executive degree "Leading within IOs and NGOs" enables participants to sharpen leadership and management skills required in the International Organizations, NGOs, NPOs or social enterprise. The program provides state-of-the-art management tools applied to the specific challenges within these organizations. It also empowers participants to enhance their communication skills and lead in a globalized world.


Dr Achim Schmitt


Today’s business environment is characterized through hyper‐competitive markets that constantly challenge an organization’s functioning. Within the past two decades, firms twice experienced conditions of turbulent market environments indicated through the bursting of the dot‐com bubble in 2000‐01 and the sub‐prime crisis in late 2008. These economic conditions have increased the complexity of today’s business environment and unambiguously underline the importance of knowing how to deal with environmental changes, difficult business situations, and corporate growth. Managing such conditions consists of multiple organizational challenges and implies that firms must constantly adapt to evolving market environment. This course aims at developing an understanding on how to behave and manage such situations. It familiarizes participants with how to manage change under situations of corporate crisis, global competition and environmental change.


Prof Robert Weibel


Increasing interdependence within and between societies inevitably leads to conflicts of interest. A dominant way to overcome these obstacles is the new disciplines of conflict resolution and negotiation. After setting the stage with theories of conflict and cooperation, this course covers structural and dynamic issues of negotiation processes. It combines analytical and practical techniques with discussion of real-world examples from business and political conflicts at international level.


Dr Karen Iles


This course provides an overview of the international development landscape and how different approaches to delivering development assistance have evolved through time while combining theoretical knowledge with practical hands-on training. Using detailed case studies of existing and hypothetical projects, the course explores essential tools for planning and implementing development projects.


Dr Valerie Weinzierl


Cross-sector partnerships are increasingly becoming mainstream in areas where societal actors detect own boundaries, sense efficiency gains through collaboration, or recognize opportunities behind interdependencies. This course explains the global evolution of partnerships and the manifold types that emerged, it zooms-in on the management of partnerships, and provides guidelines as to when partnerships can and should be utilized. At the heart of the course, study-groups together with the actual partnership managers critically study, analyze, and compare a suite of globally successful partnerships.


Prof Susanna Swann


This course module complements academic work on non-profit organizations (NPOs). It aims at providing students with a practical understanding of how international NPOs are set up, governed, led and managed based on some defining factors such as their mission, guiding principles, history and stakeholders, as well as the environment they are operating in. It will walk students through some of the key features of leadership and management of NPOs, both in terms of management frameworks and of leadership and management practices.


Prof JB Helip and Prof Jacob Van der Blij


This ‘practitioner course’ takes the students in six thematic sessions through the resource management functions in Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs). The course examines the constituent elements and boundaries of NPOs, their embedded incentive systems, and challenges to manage NPOs for results. It also provides the students the tools and analytical framework for an assessment of a NPO of their choice. 


Each module is subject to an assessment, including one or a combination of the following: in-class exam, classroom presentations, take-home assignments and group works.

Diploma awarded

Students who successfully complete the programme (18 ECTS credits) will be awarded the CAS Leading within IOs and NGOs by the Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM) of the University of Geneva.

Admission criteria

  • A Bachelor's degree or equivalent

  • At least 3 years of managerial experience

  • English proficiency required

Steering committee

  • Professor Judith Schrempf-Stirling, GSEM, University of Geneva
  • Stephan Mergenthaler, Head of Knowledge Networks and Analysis, WEF

Number of participants

Max. 20 participants

Exemplary list:

  • Achim Schmitt, Dean Graduate School and Full Professor of Strategic Management at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)
  • Robert Weibel, Executive Director Founder of the Centre for European Negotiation and Decision‐Making (CENAD)
  • Susanna Swann, HR Director at Geneva international airport

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