This upcoming Saturday, Ferdinand von Habsburg-Lothringen, will become the first graduate of the Masters in International Humanitarian Action (MIHA) program, offered by Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).
Ferdinand has been living and working in South Sudan for 16 years – first as a humanitarian worker during the second civil war, and then as an advisor to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sudan and Southern Sudan focusing on Governance, Peace Building and Community Security and Arms Control. He completed the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA 9) in 2001, and has since tried to grapple with and better address the deeply rooted historical tensions that have existed between communities in South Sudan. His thesis is a passionate exploration of the narratives surrounding the violence he witnessed in South Sudan and the implications of humanitarian aid within this context.
Featured by Fordham as one of the Faces From the Class of 2015, Ferdinand now works as a consultant for the government of Switzerland in South Sudan to support the Committee for National Healing, Peace, and Reconciliation; the South Sudan Council of Churches; and regional peace talks between the government of South Sudan and rebels. He also works as a consultant for Aegis Trust to support initiatives that help prevent mass atrocities. Devoted father of four, Ferdinand currently lives in Nairobi with his wife and children. Following the diploma ceremony to take place this Saturday, Ferdinand will continue to use his experience and talents to search for peaceful solutions to conflict through dialogue and cooperation.
The IIHA will also celebrate another impressive cohort of undergraduates who have completed the International Humanitarian Studies Minor program, and our first class of students graduating with a Major in International Humanitarian Studies. The inaugural class of Majors includes Barbara Bemer, Catherine Chiodo, Lauren Giangrasso, Isis Quijada, and Lauren Ross.
Congratulations to all of our graduates!