Kirsten Gelsdorf headshot
KG

Kirsten H. Gelsdorf

Professor
Director
Unit: Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
Department: Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy
Office location and address
Garrett L028
235 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Education
Master of Law and Diplomacy in Humanitarian Affairs and Food Security, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
B.A. in History/Asian Studies and International Environmental Affairs, Dartmouth College
Biography

As Director of Global Humanitarian Policy, Kirsten brings 19 years of experience working in the humanitarian sector; most recently serving as the Chief of the Policy Analysis and Innovation section at the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Her career includes long-term field postings and operational deployments to numerous emergencies including the international responses to Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, the Ethiopian Famine, the South African Regional Food Crisis, the Liberian War, the Tsunami in Indonesia, Hurricane Katrina, the Pakistan Earthquake, the Timor-Leste Security Crisis, the Global Food Crisis and the Haiti Earthquake. She also served as a humanitarian advisor to President Clinton in his role as the UN Special Envoy for Haiti and as a policy advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the global food crisis in 2008. 

She has led major policy processes and authored numerous high-profile policy reports documents that have been implemented by Member States and adopted in key UN resolutions. She has been the guest editor of Journal special editions and a Senior Researcher for Tufts University. 

She has taught courses at UVA for the Batten School, Global Studies, and Liberal Arts Seminars. She has also taught as an Associate Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. 

She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Master degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Sesame Workshop
Source: Sesame Workshop
January 01, 2021 – December 31, 2022
Sesame Workshop
Source: Sesame Workshop
June 01, 2020 – December 31, 2020
BA-Annual Synthesis Report on Progress of the Agenda for Humanity
Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Huma
August 01, 2017 – January 31, 2018
LPPS 3295: Global Humanitarian Crises Response
Credits: 3
Course will look at critical questions defining global humanitarian action and policy. The inability to deliver aid inside Syria, record refugee flows, drought in Ethiopia, brutal conflict in Yemen, are only some of today's crises. Using historical and critical analysis, case studies, and insights from guest speakers, the foundations, dilemmas, and operations of humanitarian aid will be explored.
PPOL 3295: Global Humanitarian Crises: Dilemmas, Leadership, and Action
Credits: 3
Course will look at critical questions defining global humanitarian action and policy. The inability to deliver aid inside Syria, record refugee flows, drought in Ethiopia, brutal conflict in Yemen, are only some of today's crises. Using historical and critical analysis, case studies, and insights from guest speakers, the foundations, dilemmas, and operations of humanitarian aid will be explored.
PPOL 4991: Capstone Seminar
Credits: 3
Students will produce a report providing an analysis of the problem, the policy options available, and their action recommendations. Students will improve their ability to work in teams and hone their written and oral presentation skills.
LPPP 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Independent study in the field of public policy and leadership.
PPOL 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Independent study in the field of public policy and leadership.
PPOL 5200: Adv Policy & Practice in Humanitarian Assistance: Critical Case Studies
Credits: 3
Course will use experiential learning and a case study approach that leads students to directly engage on a selection of the most pressing global humanitarian policies and operational practices being debated and developed. It will allow students to gain and practice critical leadership and management skills that are essential in crisis contexts, but also applicable to the aspiring consultant, public policy practitioner, and development worker.
LPPP 5540: Applied Policy Clinics
Credits: 2
Applied Policy Clinics Topics Course
LPPS 6135: Policy Development in International Humanitarian Assistance
Credits: 3
This course will look at the policy positions that are currently being developed in international humanitarian assistance arena as well as challenge students to learn the professional skills and policy development tools and processes being used by practitioners. Using a real-time case-study approach, students will engage in present day policy questions. The class will also be engaged in a real-time policy assignment.
LPPP 7600: Thesis Project
Credits: 3
Thesis Project
LPPP 7610: Applied Policy Project
Credits: 3
The Applied Policy Project (APP) is the capstone event of the MPP program, an independent analytical project for each student, working with an external client on a mutually agreed upon policy problem facing the client organization. The final product is a report approximately 50 pages single-spaced in length, professionally bound, and presented both to the faculty member and to the client.
LPPP 7700: Applied Policy Project I
Credits: 3
The Applied Policy Project (APP) is the capstone event of the MPP program, an independent analytical project for each student. Divided over two semesters, APP I provides students with the opportunity for a semester of research and information gathering in the policy field of the student's external client.
LPPP 7993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Student will perform independent projects under close faculty supervision.
PPOL 7993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Student will perform independent projects under close faculty supervision.