The world relies on international organizations to set the global agenda for today’s most pressing issues, and to be at the forefront of cooperation between Member States in a rapidly changing world. This process often involves the linking of countries and organizations (public and private) that have cultural, political and economic differences. In order to be effective in this increasingly complex environment, agencies need leaders who have a set of multidimensional and well-integrated skills that will help them deliver on organizational mandates. What then can be done to produce competent leadership in international organizations?

Recognizing that it is important to strengthen management competencies within the UN, UNSSC has partnered with the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), which is offering an MBA with a specialization in the management of international organizations (MBA MIO).

The two-year programme is flexible and offers hybrid learning options where participants can choose between modular formats (in-class experience) and blended learning formats (a combination of in-class and online learning) for the core and specialization modules. In the first year, the MBA focuses on the core business modules while the second year gives participants an insider’s view of international organizations. Through a varied curriculum with modules that include international organization leadership, strategic management, and contemporary decision making, professionals are exposed to learning that provides them with a diverse, rigorous and rewarding experience that emphasizes minimal time away from work. This skill repertoire offered by the different modules is seen as being in great demand and highly beneficial.

UNSSC’s partnership with USB signifies a commitment to collaborate with top tier educational institutions for the design of programmes that are fully aligned with the UN’s mission and mandate, and combine private and public sector perspectives to develop well-rounded professionals. Both institutions are guided by similar principles and approaches and bring a set of unique advantages.

USB boasts an alumni of top-tier business professionals and is one of the few “Triple crown” accredited institutions in the world with the AACSB (from the US-based Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the EQUIS (from the Brussels-based European Foundation for Management Development) and the AMBA (from the UK-based Association of MBAs).Coupled with this is UNSSC’s deep knowledge of today’s global challenges, its extensive experience in developing learning for the UN, and its critical public-sector leadership and management expertise. Prospective students are therefore guaranteed that the standards of the MBA, its infrastructure, academic support and value are benchmarked against the best

The world’s pressing issues need significant contributions from talented individuals willing to devote their efforts to finding solutions. To this end, today’s senior managers and leaders need cross-cultural expertise and international leadership for the 21st century. We encourage applications from all UN professionals who are interested in integrating innovative business approaches and public sector acumen to solve challenging issues that define the public agenda.



Applications for the February 2021 cohort are currently being accepted. Prospective candidates are encouraged to apply by 15 November 2020. More details on the programme can be found here

*Participants will have access to the full online version should ongoing COVID-19 restrictions persist.*