NEW YORK— Peter Hansen, the longest serving assistant secretary general and under secretary general in the history of the United Nations, has been named Diplomat-In-Residence at Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA).
“Hansen is one of the world’s most distinguished and experienced diplomats in humanitarian affairs and his scholarly endeavors are pre-eminent in the field of international humanitarian operations,” said Kevin M. Cahill, M.D., executive director of the IIHA. He particularly noted Hansen’s service as Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator and Special Representative of U.N. Secretary-General at the World Food Program in the mid-1990s.
At Fordham, Hansen will work to foster and strengthen the IIHA’s relationship with the United Nations, other non-governmental agencies and the international community. He will also participate in the Institute’s educational programs, especially the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance program and the Humanitarian Negotiators’ Training Course.
Hansen joined the United Nations in 1978 as the Assistant Secretary-General for program planning and coordination. Between 1985 and 1992, he served as assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations. He was executive director of the Commission on Global Governance, Geneva, 1992-1994. Mr. Hansen recently completed a nine-year appointment as commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides education, health care, social services and emergency aid to Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Hansen was a Professor of International Relations at Arhus University and Odense University, and also a served as an advisor to the Foreign Ministry of Denmark.
Hansen is the author of several books and numerous articles in scholarly journals. He is married and has three children.
The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs was created at Fordham University in 2001 to provide an academic foundation for humanitarian operations by publishing relevant books, offering training courses and hosting international symposia. The Institute is a university-wide center reporting directly to the President of Fordham. The Institute identifies fundamental needs and uses its talent, contacts and resources to define practical solutions and initiate dialogue, understanding and cooperation among people and nations divided by war. The effort is a collaboration between Fordham University and the Center for International Health and Cooperation (CIHC).