Public event

Hands-On Security: The untold story - Trauma and international development work

Karoline Klose, a Hertie alumna with a decade's experience in international development in eight countries, shares insights on mental health in international development work from her career.

Trauma and PTSD are today widely recognized as work-related illnesses in soldiers returning from war, but what about the mental health of development workers working in similar contexts? The potential mental health impact of this career is rarely talked about and still mostly a taboo. When it is talked about, the conversation is led largely by psychologists and not by the professionals affected. This session aims to change this. Hertie School alumna Karoline Klose will hold a session she wishes she had had while at Hertie, sharing her personal story of work-related trauma while working for the UN in Haiti.

This event is part of the Hands-On Security Speaker Series hosted by the Centre for International Security. The series offers a behind-the-scenes look at international politics. Our speaker series aims to help bridge the gap between academia and practice by engaging officials with hands-on experience in the security and defence field and inspire our students’ future careers in the process.



Karoline Klose

  • Karoline Klose

    Atlantik-Brücke Young Leaders conference - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - Santa Cruz, CA

    Karoline Klose is a graduate of the Hertie School and Columbia University, where she graduated in 2010 with a dual-degree MPP/MIA focusing on international security policy. After graduating, she worked for GIZ, NGOs and UNDP in Ethiopia, Egypt, Tunisia, Rwanda, Sudan, Liberia, East Timor and Haiti, as well as for the European Parliament in Brussels and the United Nations in New York (UNDP and DPKO). Her work focused on institution-building, particularly in fragile states. She is also a graduate of the University of Cambridge, the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs and the JPO program. After leaving the UN and international development work in 2019, she was diagnosed with PTBS (post-traumatic stress disorder). Since then, she has made it her mission to raise awareness about this widespread but stigmatized occupational hazard of international development work. She now lives in rural Germany and is building an eco-village. Throughout her career, Karoline felt particularly passionate about women's political participation. This has led her to run for local office as a councilor in her hometown Hitacker and found The Center for Feminist Local Politics (Zentrum für feministische Kommunalpolitik). 


    Photo credit: Atlantik-Brücke