The joint study program CAS/MAS in Humanitarian Leadership connects academic skills and knowledge delivered by the University of Lucerne with the practical know how and experience of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Providing support to people affected by conflicts and disasters is characterised as being an intense, challenging and multi-faceted tasks. Typically, providing humanitarian assistance is associated with a set of aspects including:

  • Multi-disciplinarity
  • Intercultural challenges
  • Team dynamics
  • Time pressure
  • Financial restraints
  • Lack of information
  • Internal / Emotional aspects: Stress, threat to life, etc.
  • Communication

This variety of factors requires strong strategic, operational and leadership skills for managerial and field personnel. Leadership skills in particular are key since human interaction is the starting point of any humanitarian response.

In view of these challenges and opportunities, the study programme CAS/MAS in Humanitarian Leadership is designed to further develop competencies of humanitarian leaders and managers. The program will furthermore enable leaders and managers in gaining access to people affected by conflict and delivering effective humanitarian services.


The admission for this study programme is restricted to persons working for the ICRC.

Structure and Content


The study programme is implemented jointly by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the University of Lucerne. The following three Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) are offered:

  1. CAS in Leading by Example
  2. CAS in Leading High-Performing Multidisciplinary Teams
  3. CAS in Leading Complex Operations and Transformations  

Subject to the condition of completing successfully all three CAS courses, participants may apply for a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Humanitarian Leadership.

Course Management

Course Management

The study programme is led by a committee of representatives of the University of Lucerne and the ICRC. The members of the committee include:

Foto Bruno Staffelbach

Prof. Dr. Bruno Staffelbach

Rector and Full Professor at the University of Lucerne

Personal page of Prof. Dr. Bruno Staffelbach

Claire Hoang

Deputy Director HR at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Prof. Dr. Martina Caroni

Tenured Professor of International, Constitutional and Comparative Law at the University of Lucerne

Persönliche Seite von Prof. Dr. Martina Caroni

Mohini Ghai Kramer

Head of Learning and Development, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Programme Management

Thomas Knobel

Programme Manager

Regulations and Further Information

In case of any questions do not hesitate to contact the programme management staff via