The Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) is happy to announce that Joëlle Germanier has been appointed director, starting her new role in January 2022. Her nomination was unanimously endorsed by the Principals of CCHN’s founding organizations (ICRC, UNHCR, the World Food Programme, MSF Switzerland, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, and the Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations) during their annual Board meeting in December 2021.
A senior member of the CCHN team since 2018, Joëlle was previously heading the Operations department, supporting the Centre as it transitioned from a pilot project to a long-term initiative.
Joëlle brings to the role a wealth of humanitarian expertise. She worked for several years with the ICRC, both in field locations (Colombia, South Sudan, and Côte d’Ivoire) and within the Law and Policy Department at the organization’s Geneva headquarters. Her earlier professional experiences include diplomatic services within the Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi (India), as well as field-based legal and advocacy work for non-governmental organizations. Joëlle holds a master’s degree in International Public Law with a specialization in International Humanitarian Law.
Interviewed about her motivation to lead the CCHN in its new phase of development, Joëlle mentioned: “What really touches me about our work is that we have the opportunity to support colleagues in the field, giving them a space where their unique experience as frontline negotiators is recognized and valued. In my role as Director, I will work assiduously with the CCHN team to foster and support this Community of humanitarian negotiators – and the emergence of a dedicated professional domain related to humanitarian negotiation.”
Joëlle’s nomination comes as part of a broader effort to develop and advance the Center’s mission in the coming years. The new senior management team also includes a Deputy Director, Rehan Zahid, and a Chief Financial Officer, Loredana Serban, who will join the team in March.
The CCHN community is extremely grateful to Claude Bruderlein, outgoing director, who led the Centre since its creation in 2016 and successfully guided it through a five-year pilot phase. His work was instrumental in the development of state-of-the-art negotiation tools and methods, in the creation of a global community of practitioners, and in the establishment of the CCHN as a leading initiative in the field of frontline humanitarian negotiations. Claude will remain actively involved in the Centre’s work, focusing on research and advisory projects.
For the past six years, the CCHN has provided humanitarian workers with a platform to learn and exchange around the topic of frontline negotiation. The Centre contributes to scientific research around negotiation processes, tools and strategies, and promotes collaboration across the sector. With over 120 Peer Workshops organized in 2021 alone and more than 2,500 humanitarian professionals joining the Centre’s activities each year, the CCHN will continue to support frontline negotiators in developing negotiation skills, sharing challenges and dilemmas with fellow practitioners, and fostering a global community of practice.