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international civil servants in Geneva

University of Geneva An innovative program for leadership and management in non‑profit organizations !
Geneva, home of International Organizations. © Adobe Stock
Posted on 4 Jun 2020
Categories: Focus on

A new program for IOs and NGOs professionals.

The IO‑MBA has been one of the school’s flagship programs for many years, reflecting the importance of the “International Geneva” to the University and the Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM). Importantly, it is one of the two Association of Masters of Business Administration (AMBA) accredited programs, and ranked among the 10 best MBAs for non-profit management by the FIND MBA website since 2018.

Staying on top requires continuous innovation. In order to keep the program among the top programs in its area, we decided to restructure its offer in September 2020, while building on its strengths and on the best of what our Executive MBA program (the other AMBA- accredited program) has to offer. This will help us be better aligned with the school areas for strategic development (sustainability, analytics, and governance), allowing our participants to benefit from innovations occurring in other areas.

The context

International Organizations and NGOs are under ever more pressure regarding resource mobilization, the need for effective management practices and the expectations around outcome indicators. As a result, these organizations have an obligation to evolve and develop more innovative and creative ways to operate, in order to ensure their own sustainability. By addressing concepts and practices, such as cross sector and global partnerships, social entrepreneurship and performance management, the new proposed DAS (Diploma of Advanced Studies) Effective Leadership of IOs is at the cutting-edge of innovative management practices and leadership approaches for non-profit organizations.

The Diploma of Advanced Studies Effective Leadership of IOs

The DAS Effective Leadership of IOs enables participants to develop their technical, leadership and managerial skills and extend their knowledge of the socio-economic and political contexts in which IOs and NGOs work. Throughout the modules, participants acquire the conceptual tools and skills that will enable them to meet the management, communication, and organizational challenges specific to the international environment. Indeed, international institutions in Geneva currently affected by specific and diverse challenges, such as budget cuts, need – more than ever – professionals capable of managing projects more efficiently, developing innovative financing models and coming up with out-of-the-box concepts and practices.

The new program will have a core component that will be common to the Executive MBA program and provide the fundamental management tools used in modern organizations. In the second part of the program, participants will specialize in the management of International Organizations with a curriculum that will share many of the modules that exist today in the current IO-MBA, but with a stronger emphasis on sustainability issues. These changes will help our graduates better address some of the important challenges corporations and societies face today. This will not only strengthen a program that we have always been very proud of, but it will also improve and meet the participants expectations who aspire to advance in their careers by acquiring skills and a global vision of management in non-governmental and international organizations.

The DAS Effective Leadership of IOs will enable participants to :

  • Master advanced management skills and practices applicable to intergovernmental, public, and non-profit organizations

  • Apply fundamental concepts of change management in complex organizational settings Understand risk analysis and decision-making mechanisms

  • Aquire project management skills and set up innovative solutions

  • And strengthen leadership and team management skills and learn to apply intercultural negotiation techniques

This program focuses on an executive education niche market in International Geneva. GSEM’s key competence is the application of state-of-the-art management tool and principles to the specific contexts of IOs and NGOs as well as the deep understanding of the needs of the public and the private sector. Responding to the market needs, the DAS Effective Leadership of IOs combines state-of-the-art management skills and leadership practices from the non-for-profit sector and the corporate sector. The program gives the opportunity to participants coming mainly from the field of international cooperation to exchange with professionals from the corporate sector, which is unique compared with other executive programs available in Geneva.

For more information :


* Sun Zuchuat-Ji is a Program Manager at the University of Geneva, UNIGE.