Meet the Team

Kevin M. Cahill, MD - University Professor and Director

Kevin Cahill, Director

Kevin M. Cahill, MD is University Professor and Director of the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs. He also serves as President of the Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC), Director of the Tropical Disease Center at Lenox Hill Hospital, Clinical Professor of Tropical Medicine and Molecular Parasitology at New York University School of Medicine, Chief Medical Advisor for Counterterrorism, NYPD, Professor of International Humanitarian Affairs at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Senior Consultant to the United Nations Health Service and President-General of the American-Irish Historical Society. Dr. Cahill has served as Chief Advisor on Humanitarian Affairs and Public Health for three Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly.

Dr. Cahill received degrees from Fordham University, Cornell University School of Medicine, The Royal College of Surgeons in England and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He holds numerous fellowships, distinguished awards, and several dozen honorary doctorates.

Dr. Cahill served as Director of Clinical Tropical Medicine in Egypt and Sudan while in the U.S. Navy and continued active medical research for the next forty years in Africa, Latin America, the Near and Far East, with long-term programs in Somalia, Sudan, India and Nicaragua.

From 1975-81, Dr. Cahill served concurrently as the Special Assistant to the Governor for Health Affairs, Chairman of the Health Planning Commission, and Chairman of the Health Research Council of New York State. From 1981-93 he was a Senior Member of the New York City Board of Health.

He has written and edited thirty-one books and more than two hundred articles on subjects ranging from tropical disease to humanitarian and foreign affairs, Irish literature, and public health.

Brendan Cahill - Executive Director

Brendan Cahill, Executive Director

Brendan Cahill is the Executive Director of the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University. For over sixteen years he has created, directed and taught humanitarian programs throughout the world, including South Africa, Kenya, India, Egypt, Myanmar, Kuala Lumpur, South Korea, Nepal, Sudan, Colombia, Nicaragua, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, England and the United States. He established one of the first Masters programs in Humanitarian Action in the world, and, to date, has trained over 3,000 mid career aid professionals from over 135 countries.

More recently, Mr. Cahill designed and implemented a full undergraduate program at Fordham University. This program, which includes a summer program, is among the fastest growing in the University's history; it combines academic rigor with applied knowledge and experience, especially through carefully managed internships at partner institutions in New York City.

The Institute is waiting on final approval from the New York State Department of Education for a new Master of Science program in Humanitarian Studies, a program that would bring skills and experience to those interested in working in the humanitarian sector.

The Institute, which he helped create, acts as a bridge between the University and humanitarian practice, hosts lectures and symposia on a regular basis, and is the US partner for NOHA, a consortium of 12 European universities offering humanitarian education. Mr. Cahill sits on the editorial board of their academic journal.

Mr. Cahill is the Series Editor of the International Humanitarian Affairs Series at Fordham University Press. He is currently co-authoring a textbook in Humanitarian Studies, to be published by University of Toronto Press. He received his BA from Colby College and his MBA from Fordham University.

Besides his work for the IIHA and the CIHC, Brendan sits on the boards of the American Irish Historical Society, the Bartow Pell Conservancy, and the Pelham Preservation Society. He is a member of the Advisory Board of The Humanitarian Centre of University College Dublin, the Executive Board of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network, and on the Curriculum Oversight and Steering Committee of Jesuit World Learning (JWL). He is an active member of the Strategic Planning Committee for Fordham University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He is a Trustee of The Helen Hamlyn Trust in London and a Director of the KMC Foundation in New York.

He is married with four children and lives in Pelham, New York.

Phone: 718-817-5694

Ellen Bratina - International Programs Officer

Ellen Bratina coordinates and administers all logistical arrangements for the IIHA’s international programs, including admission and registration processes. Previously a literary rights agent, literary scout, and corporate publishing executive, she founded a literary rights company based in Prague and Warsaw in the 1990s. A graduate of Marquette University, she has worked with media companies large and small in Europe and North America and has coordinated fundraising initiatives at educational nonprofits in New York City.

Phone: 718-817-5695 

Angela Wells - Communications Officer

Angela Wells, IIHA Communications Officer

Angela Wells is the Communications Officer for the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University where she oversees the creation and dissemination of all digital and print communication from the IIHA. Angela also fosters relationships with local and international nongovernmental organizations to facilitate internship placements, source external teaching staff and students, develop new training programs, and encourage collaboration among organizations for lecture series and symposia.

Through these initiatives, Angela helps to strengthen the IIHA’s relations with both the Fordham community and the humanitarian community worldwide. Angela started working with the IIHA at the end of 2016 and comes to the Institute after working as a Communications Officer for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Italy, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda for four years. Angela received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with Minors in Spanish, Peace Studies, and Journalism from Loyola University Chicago in 2012.

Phone: 718-817-5303

Anthony Land, PhD - Senior Fellow

Anthony Land, Senior Fellow

Anthony (Tony) Land, PhD graduated from Brunel University in 1971 with the degree of Bachelor of Technology with Honours in Polymer Science and Technology and was awarded the degree of Master of Technology, also from Brunel University, in 1972 for research into high temperature resistant polymeric materials. Between 1972 and 1985, he worked with various NGOs in South Asia. From 1979 to 1985 he was employed by Tearfund and seconded to HEED in Bangladesh and to ACROSS in Southern Sudan, as Field Director. In 1985, Dr. Land joined UNHCR and worked with them in Pakistan, Indonesia, Malawi, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Russian Federation, Geneva and Brussels, in operational field roles and in donor relations, until his retirement in 2006. Since leaving UNHCR, Dr. Land has undertaken various consultancies and taught on courses in humanitarian subjects at Fordham University (New York) as well as Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Manchester University, University of Copenhagen and the University of Medical Science and Technology in Khartoum. In 2014, he was admitted into the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at University of Liverpool. His thesis is titled “Towards enhancing responsibility and accountability in humanitarian action: Understanding the subjective factors that influence evaluation of humanitarian actions and the implementation of the recommendations made.” Having served as the Senior Tutor for the Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC) from 2008 to 2014, Dr. Land now holds a Senior Fellowship and is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University in New York.


Larry Hollingworth, CBE - Humanitarian Programs Director

Larry Hollingworth, Humanitarian Programs Director

Larry Hollingworth is the Humanitarian Programs Director for the Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC) and Visiting Professor of Humanitarian Studies at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University in New York. Over the past decade, Mr. Hollingworth served as Humanitarian Coordinator on CIHC-supported missions for the United Nations in Iraq, Lebanon, East Timor, Palestine, and Pakistan. After serving as a British Army officer for thirty years, Mr. Hollingworth joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and held assignments in Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. He was appointed UNHCR Chief of Operations in Sarajevo during the siege of the city in the Balkan conflict. Mr. Hollingworth has also worked with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He was awarded Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002 and honored by the U.S Department of State on the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention Related to the Status of Refugees in 2011. Mr. Hollingworth is a frequent lecturer on relief and refugee topics in universities and is a commentator on humanitarian issues for the BBC. In his current role as Humanitarian Programs Director, which he has held for over 15 years, Mr. Hollingworth directs humanitarian training courses for participants from or intending to enter the humanitarian aid world. He has directed 48 one-month courses and more than 50 one-week courses, of which there are over 2,300 alumni.

Giulio Coppi - Humanitarian Innovation Fellow

Giulio Coppi, Humanitarian Innovation Fellow

Giulio Coppi joins the IIHA with more than ten years of humanitarian professional experience managing operations in South America, West and Central Africa, South and Central Asia. Giulio earned his BA, MA and MAS in International Law with a specialization on Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in conflict. In his career, Giulio has cooperated with NGOs, Universities, the UN, the OECD and the ICRC. At the IIHA, Giulio oversees the Humanitarian Innovation program of the Institute, with a special focus on Open Source technology and community-based approaches. For this purpose, Giulio fosters relationships with all relevant interlocutors from the non-profit, private, and public sector alike in order to create broad partnerships and to promote a meaningful public debate on the global right of access to life-saving technology. Giulio is also the founder and administrator of the platform High Tech Humanitarians (HTH), of which IIHA is an official partner. HTH is a web based initiative dedicated to the gathering and improvement of open source humanitarian tools, to allow universal access to life-changing technology and to mark the beginning of a continuous bottom-up innovation process.


Rene Desiderio, PhD - Research Fellow on Aging, Urbanization and International Migration

IIHA Fellow, Rene Desiderio

Rene Desiderio, PhD is a Research Fellow on Aging, Urbanization and International Migration at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA). He received doctoral and Master's degrees from Cornell University in the field of population and international development. He has a Master's of Science degree in social planning from the Centre for Development Studies, University of Wales, and was an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of North Carolina Population Center. Dr. Desiderio served for more than 10 years with the United Nations Secretariat and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York, Somalia and Bangkok.

Dr. Desiderio served as Technical Expert in the UN-World Bank Joint Needs Assessment for Somalia. As UNFPA’s Humanitarian Response Coordinator, he managed emergency and humanitarian response operations, including preparation of a humanitarian assistance strategy and plan of action. He also managed a global survey covering over 160 countries on population policies and sustainable development.

He has written and published articles on various topics, such as population and development, environment and poverty, demographic trends, international migration and gender issues, including harmful practices. As part of the UNFPA evidence and action project, he documented good practices on issues relating to adolescent girls, sex selection, fistula and averting maternal and newborn deaths in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, South Sudan and Sudan, among others. He has also served as a World Bank consultant on international migration and fertility. Dr. Desiderio serves as Academic Adviser of the NOHA (Network on Humanitarian Action) graduate students during their summer research stay at Fordham.


Larissa Fast, PhD - Research Fellow

Larissa Fast, Research Fellow

Larissa Fast, PhD is a Research Fellow at Fordham University's Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs. As a scholar and practitioner, she focuses on the intersection of research, policy, and practice related to humanitarianism, conflict, and peacebuilding. She is also an internationally-recognized expert on the causes of and responses to violence against conflict interveners, such as aid workers and peacebuilders, and has published extensively on the topic in both academic and policy-focused formats. Her book, Aid in Danger: The Perils and Promise of Humanitarianism (2014, University of Pennsylvania Press) explores the causes of and responses to violence against aid workers.

Dr. Fast has published in the International Review of the Red Cross, the European Journal of International Relations, and Disasters, among other journals. In addition, she co-founded a large-scale dataset tracking threats and violence against aid workers as part of the Aid in Danger project.

Fast’s professional career spans both scholarly and policy-oriented posts. She is a 2016-2017 Fulbright-Schuman Research Scholar at the University of Manchester (UK) and Uppsala University (Sweden). From 2014-2016, she served as Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, working at the US Agency for International Development. During that time, she conducted research on the use of data and digital technologies in the West Africa Ebola outbreak response. Previously, she was Assistant Professor at the Kroc Institute and Department of Sociology, University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana) and at Conrad Grebel University College (Waterloo, Ontario).


Al Panico - Fellow

Al Panico, Fellow

Al Panico is currently a Fellow at Fordham University's Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs and is active in teaching and training aid professionals around the world. Al has been part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for over 40 years. He has served internationally as head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Regional Offices in Nairobi, Kenya, covering East Africa and The Indian Ocean Islands, and in New Delhi, India, covering 8 South Asian Countries. He also served as head of Federation country offices in Sri Lanka, Uganda, Malawi and most recently, Nepal following the 2015 Earthquake in that country.

At the American Red Cross, Mr. Panico was the vice-president of the International Services Division; and has held management and disaster positions in Jackson, Mississippi, Dallas, and Los Angeles. He also served as special representative to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Seattle, Washington.

Mr. Panico spent five years with the Waitt Family Foundation in San Diego as Chief Administrative Officer in charge of charitable giving. He has served as the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Indian Ocean Tsunami Operation and head of operations for the Federation Asia Pacific Zone, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Nora Setién Viota - Research Fellow on Preventive Diplomacy

IIHA Fellow, Nora Setien

Nora Setién Viota is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University and also works as the liaison between the Institute and the international non-profit associatio Education for an Independent World (EDIW). Nora is currently researching issues of Preventive Diplomacy, analyzing its development since the former Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld established its principles until now, when it has become central to the new Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ agenda.

She is the recipient of the Basque Global Training Scholarship program and holds a European MA in Human Rights and Democratization from the EIUC and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Deusto in Humanities and History.

Phone: 646-785- 0786

Willem van de Put - Research Fellow

Willem van de Put, IIHA Fellow

Willem van de Put is a cultural/medical anthropologist and philosopher by training. He worked in international public health since 1989, first with Médecines sans Frontières Holland, where he introduced medical anthropology and mental health programming, later as the founder of TPO Cambodia (1993-1998) and general director of HealthNet TPO (1998-2016). Together with Lynne Jones and the unfailing support of the IIHA at Fordham University, Willem started the course Mental Health in Complex Emergencies in 2004.

Currently Willem works as a research fellow with the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, and is affiliated as research fellow with Fordham University, with a focus on emergency programming and health systems development in fragile states. Willem has also co-founded ‘C4C’, a foundation working on ‘Culture for Change’, applying experience in action research in concrete programmes where cultural traits and beliefs are transformed from perceived barriers for effective healing to drivers of sustainable change.


Van de Put, W. A. C. M. and Eisenbruch, M. (2002). The Cambodian experience. Trauma, war, and violence: Public mental health in socio-cultural context. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers; US.

Eisenbruch, M., de Jong, J. T., and van de Put, W. (2004). Bringing order out of chaos: A culturally competent approach to managing the problems of refugees and victims of organized violence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 17(2), 123-131.

Van de Put, W. and Eisenbruch, M. (2004): Internally displaced Cambodians: Healing Trauma in Communities. In: The Mental Health of Refugees: Ecological approaches to healing and adaptation. Edited by Kenneth Miller and Lisa Rasco, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey/London

Van de Put, W., and van der Veer, G. (2005): Counseling in Cambodia: cultural competence and contextual costs. Intervention, July 2005. Volume 3, Nr 2. p 87-96. Psychiatry, 62 supplement 2, 64-72

Ventevogel, P., van de Put, W., Faiz, H., van Mierlo, B., Siddiqi, M., & Komproe, I. H. (2012). Improving access to mental health care and psychosocial support within a fragile context: a case study from Afghanistan. PLoS Med, 9(5), e1001225.

Pat Foley - Professor

Pat Foley is an applied anthropologist and independent consultant conducting programmatic and policy action research with 22 years of experience working in NGOs, UN, Red Cross, and government agencies —largely in South Asia and the greater Horn of Africa. In the three years prior to joining Fordham University in 2016 he worked as an advisor and consultant with the Southern African Development Community, Save the Children in Central America and Ethiopia, as well as in capacity building roles in market analysis and cash transfer projects in Bangladesh and Lesotho.

Pat has a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Culture from the University of California (Irvine), a Master’s in Development Studies from Victoria University (New Zealand), and Musicology degrees from both.

Francois Servranckx - Professor

Francois Servranckx

Francois Servranckx is a professor of International Humanitarian Action for the Humanitarian Studies Major/Minor program at Fordham University.

He comes to the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs with 15 years of international experience managing humanitarian projects; responding to emergencies; and designing and implementing communication and public campaigns for organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Francois lived and worked in Africa for six years - working frequently in Senegal, Kenya, and Nigeria. He has also been deployed in emergencies in Haiti, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Uganda. Francois holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Humanitarian Affairs and lives with his wife and daughter in New York City.

H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser - Diplomat-in-Residence

Nassirabdulazizal Nasser, Diplomat In-Residence

H. E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser has recently been designated as High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, after serving as President of the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly. From 1998-2011, Mr. Al-Nasser served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations, as well as presiding over three of the subsidiary bodies of the Council. During this term, he served as non-resident Ambassador to numerous countries in the Americas, such as Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Uruguay. From 2002-2003, he was the Vice-President of the fifty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly. Earlier, Al-Nasser worked as a Qatar’s resident Ambassador to Jordan, and was appointed to his first United Nations position, Minister Plenipotentiary in 1986.

Mr. Al-Nasser has received numerous decorations and awards: three honorary doctorates, including an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Fordham University, national awards from a wide range of countries, and in 2009, Mr. Al-Nasser was made an honorary fellow of the Foreign Policy Association in New York.

Peter Hansen - Diplomat-in-Residence

Peter Hansen is Diplomat-In-Residence at Fordham University's Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs. He retired from the United Nations after 28 years of service, the last nine as Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The 22,000 employees of UNRWA provide education, health, relief and social services to more than 3.2 million registered Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Mr. Hansen had been Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator as well as Executive Director of the Commission on Global Governance, Geneva (1992-1994). He has also served in numerous other senior positions within the UN.

Mr. Hansen studied in Denmark and the United States. He completed his graduate and post-graduate work at Aarhus University in 1966. He is the author of several books and numerous articles in scholarly journals.