DAS Effective Leadership of IOs

The program empowers participants to take on leadership roles in their organization and provides a deep understanding of the socio-economic and political environments in which International Organizations, NGOs, NPOs or social enterprises function.



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36 ECTS credits
288 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 16'750.-
  • CHF 1'800.- /module

Registration fee (non-refundable): CHF 350.-


  • 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

  • Understand risk analysis and decision-making mechanisms
  • Acquire project management skills and set up innovative solutions
  • Develop your leadership and management skills and increase your team or organization performance
  • Apply fundamental concepts of change management in complex organizational settings
  • Outline key factors in successful global partnership contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


12 modules divided as follows:

12 core-modules (mandatory modules):

  • Advocacy and Fundraising
  • Change Management (blended)
  • Conflict resolution in Business and Politics
  • Cross-sector Partnerships
  • Designing Development Projects
  • Global Strategy and Innovation
  • Governance, Leadership and Change in the UN System
  • International Law / International Trade
  • Managing Complex Operations
  • Results Based Management
  • Practice of International Relations
  • Social Entrepreneurship


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


Lorine BARRIER, University of Geneva
The executive degree “Effective Leadership of IOs” enables participants to develop proven management skills applicable in the context of International Organizations, NGOs, NPOs or social enterprises. The program empowers participants to take on leadership roles and provides a deep understanding of the socio-economic and political environments in which these organizations function.


Prof Gregor Henneka and Prof Jürgen Seitz


How to develop and establish appropriate strategic fundraising solutions? What can advocacy achieve? And how are all of these connected to each other?



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 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.


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 Tina Ambos


Organizations – for-profit or non-for-profit ones – need to develop strategies on how to act in the global environment. This course aims at developing strategic thinking in a global context. We introduce you to the domain of global strategy, gain understanding of the processes of strategy analysis and formulation, and then apply them in a global setting.

The course blends input sessions with tools and frameworks as well as interactive discussions and assignments. We will work on a case study in real-time and interact with the organization’s management

Learnt concepts are applied in a simulation scenario about strategic decisions taking for several markets.


Prof Bruce Jenks


The course provides a conceptual framework and an empirical basis for examining governance and management practices in the UN system. The course focuses both on the specific characteristics of intergovernmental decision making and on the practical aspects of management. The method of work will focus on group work and case studies.


Prof Drazen Petrovic and Prof Simon Evenett


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. 



Prof Sebastian Buckup and Prof Stephan Mergenthaler


The growing intensity, and velocity of global interactions requires new approaches to studying the practice of international relations. This course combines theory and case study practice to make sense of an increasingly complex global actor and issue landscape. The course is based on highly interactive and participatory group learning and puts an emphasis on presentation and discussion skills.



Dr Katherine Milligan


Social entrepreneurship refers to the practice of combining innovation, opportunity and resourcefulness to address some of our most challenging social, economic and environmental problems. While social entrepreneurship is generally focused on the creation and growth of new ventures, social innovation is a broader concept that applies these same principles wherever our career paths take us, in the public, commercial, academic or citizen sector. This course will examine the evolution of the practice of entrepreneurship that focuses on transforming systems and practices that affect communities and ecosystems and the growing number of entities that are supporting its disruptive potential.



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

Participants who pass the assessment requirements and successfully complete the full program (36 ECTS credits) will be awarded the the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) Effective Leadership of IOs by the Geneva School of Economics and Management 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

Detailed fees

  • DAS: CHF 16,750.- 
  •  Individual module: CHF 1,800.- 

Registration fee (non-refundable): CHF 350.-


Condensed / Block format: 3-5 trips to Geneva per year & blended-learning modules

Opting for the DAS Effective Leadership of IOs has undoubtedly been one of the best decisions that I could ever make. After 10 years working in the Private Sector, I was interested in moving to a new working environment, namely the International Organizations area. I found it important to do this switch in a proper and credible way, through an appropriate and relevant degree program. This Executive Degree has been the perfect fit for me: I was able to learn from highly educated and extremely professional professors, lecturers and special guests sharing their experiences from the field. This in itself was just an extraordinary learning process, which makes this degree very special and fulfilling.

Cecile Giraud, 2015-2017 participant working now at International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Les termes utilisés pour désigner des personnes sont pris au sens générique; ils ont à la fois la valeur d'un masculin et d'un féminin.