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Episode 20: Conversation - Catherine Bertini on Leading Transformational Change in International Organizations

February 21, 2020

What is transformational change, and when might it be needed in an organisation? This episode brings to you a conversation on leadership and change, particularly on the role of transformational change in international organisations. Our guest is Catherine Bertini, who served as the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) for 10 years from 1992 to 2002, among other roles in government, the private sector and academia. She was, at the time of her appointment, the third woman to have led a UN agency. Shortly after leaving WFP, she was awarded the World Food Prize in 2003 for the change she led in the organization.  

Today, she is a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, and in this role published a recent report called Leading Change in UN Organizations. She sits down with our Director Francesco Pisano, to speak about the key issues in the report, transformational change and the current state of affairs in global governance, as well as what she’s learned about women in leadership, and the role of youth in leading change at the international level.   

For more information about Catherine Bertini’s work, head to her Her report, Leading Change in UN Organizations, is available here  

Catherine Bertini also led a leadership discussion at the Knowledge & Learning Commons at UN Geneva. Find out more and links to other UN resources on leadership and change here:   

For even more learning, you can find Library’s Research Guides on Women & Global Diplomacy: and Multilateralism: online.  


Speakers: Catherine Bertini & Francesco Pisano.

Host: Natalie Alexander.

Editor and Sound Editor: Natalie Alexander.

Image: UN Library and Archives Geneva.

Recorded & produced at the UN Library and Archives Geneva.

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