Statement: New Director for CERAH

8.10.2019

New Director for CERAH

Professor Karl Blanchet has been appointed as the new director of CERAH, the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, effective 1 December 2019.

Professor Blanchet has been working in health systems research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine since 2010 and was appointed as the co-director of the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre in 2016. He has a management and public health background and brings to CERAH extensive experience in humanitarian contexts as a relief worker and a researcher.

In his new role, Professor Blanchet will provide vision and guidance to strengthen CERAH’s role as a global centre for academic excellence rooted into humanitarian practice, providing high quality education and training, and becoming a global policy hub for the humanitarian sector, also thanks to a reinvigorated, applied research portfolio based on relief agencies’ priorities.

“I look forward to taking CERAH into the next chapter of its life”, said Professor Blanchet. “It is already a highly respected institution, but we will take this to new levels, ensuring our courses and research projects are dynamic and relevant to our students and partners. Never has it been more important to strengthen and improve humanitarian action, in a world where it is often threatened”.

In the coming months, CERAH will further invest in its educational offer to make sure that top quality courses, adapted to the changing needs of the humanitarian community, are delivered both in Geneva and in countries affected by humanitarian emergencies.

Professor Blanchet’s research focuses on resilience issues in global health, specifically in post-conflict and conflict-affected countries. He has developed innovative research approaches based on complexity science and system thinking, and is currently focused on developing and testing people-centred methodological approaches for refugee populations in the Middle East.

Professor Blanchet succeeds Professor Doris Schopper, who led CERAH for the past 11 years. Under Professor Schopper’s leadership, CERAH grew and established itself as a unique academic and research platform bringing together academia and humanitarian organizations to offer postgraduate courses for the humanitarian sector, to develop research and to strengthen reflection in humanitarian action.

Professor Antoine Flahault, Director of the Institute of Global Health of the University of Geneva, is Interim Director of CERAH from 1 October to 30 November 2019.