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Class 18 (2019-2021)

Catherine Harris, Australia

Duke University – Master in International Development Policy

Humanitarian Action | Disaster Managment | Logistics | Donor Engagement

Sponsoring Rotary District: 9800
Worked in: Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Australia, United States
Degrees from: University of Melbourne
Future plans: "I plan to continue to support high-quality disaster and crisis preparedness, response, relief and recovery efforts."

Catherine has a Bachelor in Public Policy and Management (Honours) and a Diploma in Creative Arts from the University of Melbourne in Australia. She commenced her career with the State Government of Victoria, Australia, then worked in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. Over the last 10 years, Catherine has been an active staff member and volunteer for the Australian Red Cross, including several deployments as an international delegate across the Pacific Islands region. Most recently, Catherine has spent the past 3-years based in Fiji as the Logistics Manager for the International Federation of the Red Cross with regional responsibilities. This has included managing the logistics operations for responses to floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones and health epidemic outbreaks as well as leading a multi-faceted logistics development program to build the capacity of local Red Cross Societies. She has loved working with local Red Cross volunteers and finding solutions to the region’s dynamic logistics challenges.

Catherine’s research interests are aligned with improving humanitarian operations to enable more effective service delivery and building resilience against future shocks. She is passionate about issues related to donor relations, good governance, diverse leadership and operational accountability. She hopes the Master's program in International Development Policy at Duke University will build on her undergraduate studies and work experience, allowing her to influence more effective humanitarian responses. Having witnessed the impacts of climate change first hand on vulnerable populations in the Pacific Islands, Catherine appreciates the challenges posed by climate change to global peace and security and the increasing impacts of natural disasters resulting in the urgent need for the humanitarian community to improve effective responses systems.

Applied Field Experience

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs