John Mathiason
Adjunct Professor
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs

Martha Van Rensellaer Hall 2108


John Mathiason ( is Adjunct Professor at CIPA. He is also Board Chair of Deftedge Corportation, formerly Associates for International Management Services, a consulting company providing advice and training to international organizations and not-for-profit institutions on results-based management planning and evaluation, including the United Nations Development Group, the United Nations Division for Social Policy and Development, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, the United Nations Office for Internal Oversight, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Labour Organization, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Social Science Council, the AARP, Disabled People's International, the SSM Foundation of the Dominican Republic, the Ministry of Family, Youth and Children of the Government of Panama, the Equal Opportunity Commission of Hong Kong, the United Nations Development Programme in Ecuador, Architecture for Humanity in Haiti, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Club of Madrid. He was the team leader of the Independent External Evaluation of the ILO Evaluation Function that was considered by the ILO Governing Body in November 2010 and team leader of the review of the Management and Accountability System of the United Nations Development System in 2011. He was the lead external consultant to support the Intersessional Working Group of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in the mid-term evaluation of the UNCCD Strategy (2008-2018). He is a member of the External Evaluation Panel of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and leader of the external reviews of evaluations by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the assessment of the evaluations of evaluations of UNICEF, and was consultant to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on performance measurement.

He was a staff member of the United Nations Secretariat for thirty years, starting as a technical assistance expert in evaluation of agrarian reform programs and in his last ten years as Deputy Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women, responsible for managing support to negotiations leading up to the Fourth World Conference on Women including involvement of NGO's. He has taught and written extensively on international governance issues, including governing the Internet, where he has been a member of the Internet Governance Project, and effective management of international arms control verification regimes. He is co-author of a book on the Elimination ofWeapons of Mass Destruction: Prospects for Effective International Verification, published by Palgrave in March 2005, Invisible Governance: International Secretariats in Global Politics published by Kumarian Press in January, 2007 and Internet Governance: The New Frontier of Global Institutions by Routledge in 2008. He analyzes the General Assembly in the Annual Review of UN Affairs, published by Oxford University Press. He was an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Administration at New York University and later was Professor of International Relations at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University. He was an editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Organizations Studies until 2019.  He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Undertaking a study of the future of the United Nations System in the context of the four problems of the apocalypse: pandemics, climate change, nuclear warfare and cybersecurity.

“The United Nations at the Country Level: Reassessing Operational Activities for Development,” Journal of International Organizations Studies, 8:2, 2017.

 “The General Assembly” and “The Economic and Social Council” in Annual Review of United Nations Affairs, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, Joachim Müller and Karl Sauvant (eds), New York: Oxford University Press, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

“Looking Inward: The Politics of Administering the International Public Sector,” Journal of International Organizations Studies, 5:1, 2014 with Kirsten Haak.

“Understanding how international organizations function: theory, empirical analyis, and history,” Journal of International Organizations Studies, 4:2, 2013.

“Managing Climate Change: Challenges for International Organizations and for Scholars Who Study Them,” Journal of International Organizations Studies, 4:1, 2013.

Mathiason, John, “Global Institutions” in Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture, Vol. 1, Dale Southerton (ed), Sage, 2011.

Mathiason, J., Williams, F., Arora, P., Gierycz, D. & A. Sutherland. 2011. Independent Review of the M&A framework and Resident Coordinator System of the UNDG. United Nations Development Group, New York, NY. 

Mathiason, J., Arora, P. & A. Holstag-Alvarez. 2011. Independent Mid-term Evaluation of the Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML). United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna.

Mathiason, J., Williams, F., Arora, P. & A. Sutherland. 2010. Independent External Evaluation of the ILO’s Evaluation Function. International Labour Organization, Geneva.

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,”  Chapter 5 of Universal Design Handbook, Second Edition, Wolfgang Preiser and Korydon Smith (eds), New York: Macmillan, 2011.

“Results-based Management of Basic Research,” in Proceedings of the International Conference on Regional and Interregional Cooperation to Strengthen Basic Sciences in Developing Countries, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1-4 September 2009, Christer Kiselman (ed), Upssala University, 2011.

“International Secretariats: Diplomats or Civil Servants,” in James Muldoon, Jr. et al. (eds), The New Dynamics of Multilateralism: Diplomacy, International Organizations, and Global Governance, New York: Westview, 2010

“Getting the Facts Right: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the new Climate Change Management Regime,”  Journal of International Organization Studies, 1, September 2010

“Managing Climate Change,”Paper prepared for the Panel on The Role and Responsibility of International Institutions, 2010 Conference of the Academic Council on the United Nations System, Vienna, 5 June 2010

 “The Virtual Classroom and Simulations” in Can the United Nations be Taught?: A Compendium of Innovative Teaching Techniques, Vienna, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, 2009

 “The United States and UN Management: Ideology, Politics and Money since 1945 to the Future,” Paper presented to the Panel on The United States and the United Nations: Looking Forward to a Post-Westphalian World, 2009 Convention of the International Studies Association, New York City, February 16, 2009

“Thinking Different about the U.N. Security Council”, International Studies Review, December 2008

“Managing the International Public Sector: The Future of Public Administration, Public Management, and Public Service Around the World,” paper prepared for the Conference on The Future of Public Administration, Public Management, and Public Service Around the World (Minnowbrook III), Lake Placid, NY, September 2008

Internet Governance: the New Frontier of Global Institutions, London: Routledge, 2008

“What Kind of International Public Service Do We Need for the 21st Century?” Global Governance, 14 (2, April-June 2008)  

“Internet Governance Wars: The Realists Strike Back,” International Studies Review, (2007) 9, 152–155

“The Internet and Global Governance: Principles and Norms for a New Regime,” Global Governance, 13 (2, April-June 2007), pp. 237-254, with Milton Mueller and Hans Klein.

Mathiason, John R., “Linking Diplomatic Performance Assessment to International Results-Based Management,“ in Foreign Ministries: Managing Diplomatic Networks and Optimizing Value, Kishan S. Rana and Jovan Kurbalija (eds), Geneva: Diplo Foundation, 2007.

“Reviving Functionalism and Regime Theory to Explain the Role of International Secretariats,” paper prepared for the panel on The Agency and Influence of International Organizations at the 2007 Convention of the International Studies Association, Chicago, February 28, 2007.

Invisible Governance: International Secretariats in International Politics, Bloomfield, CT: Kumerian Press (2007)

"The Road to Rio: Results-based Management of the UN Internet Governance Forum" (October 23, 2006). Internet Governance Project. Paper IGP06-006. Available at

“Theoretical Perspectives on Internet Governance:  Regime Theory in International Relations”, Paper Prepared for the Joint ICA-IAMCR Symposium on Internet Governance: New Political and Regulatory Frameworks for Global Network Communication, Dresden, Germany June 15-18, 2006

“Linking Diplomatic Performance Assessment to International Results-Based Management”, paper prepared for the International Conference on Challenges for Foreign Ministries: Managing Diplomatic Networks and Optimising Value, Geneva, May 31-June 1, 2006

"The Distributed Secretariat: Making the Internet Governance Forum Work" (May 17, 2006). Internet Governance Project. Paper IGP06-002. Available at

Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction: Prospects for Effective International Verification, with Berhaykun Andemicael, London and New York: Palgrave, 2005

"The US Role in Global Internet Governance." IEEE Communications." December 2005, pp. 52-58 with Derrick Cogburn, Milton Mueller, Lee McKnight and Hans Klein.

“A Framework Convention:  An Institutional Option for Internet Governance”, paper prepared by the Internet Governance Project, December 2004.

“Bringing Policy Development to the Public and the Public to Policy Development: A Global Alliance on Information and Communications Technology,” paper prepared for the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, November 14, 2004, with Derrick Cogburn and LiJun Du.

“Internet Governance: the State of Play”, paper prepared for the United Nations  Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, September 10, 2004. with Milton Mueller, Lee W. McKnight, Hans Klein and Marc Hollitscher.

“Making Sense of "Internet Governance": Defining Principles and Norms, with Milton Mueller and Lee W. McKnight, paper presented to the Global Forum on Internet Governance, United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, March 25-26, 2004.

“Making Sense of ‘Internet Governance: Public Policy Issues”, paper presented to the International Telecommunications Union Workshop on Internet Governance, Geneva, February 27, 2004, with Milton Mueller (senior author) and Lee McKnight.

“The Power of Legitimation: From Max Weber to Hans Blix”, paper presented to the 2004 Convention of the International Studies Association, Montreal, Quebec, March 18, 2004.

"ICANN and the Global Dialogue on US Dominance of Internet Governance"   Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association , Montreal, March 17, 2004, with Milton Mueller.

“Who Controls the Machine, III: Accountability in the Results-based Revolution”, Public Administration and Development 24 (February 2004)

“An International Perspective on Aging and the End of Life,” Home Health Care Management and Practice, February 2003

“Considerations for the proposed International convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities,” Follow-up to the Inter-regional Expert Meeting on International Norms and Standards Relating to Disabilities: Issues relating to a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  Mexico City,11-14 June 2002 ( )

“IT and the Advancement of Gender Equality: International Perspective,” UNU Global Seminar Series, 2nd Shimane Session held at

the University of Shimane, Hamada, Shimane Prefecture, Japan,

24-27 July 2001 ( )

The Long March to Beijing: the United Nations and the Women’s Revolution, Vol. 1, the Vienna Years, Mt. Temper, NY: AIMS, 2001.

“The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization: Managing the First Global Burglar Alarm,” paper presented at the annual conference of the Northeast Political Science Association/International Studies Association, Albany, New York, November 19, 2000.

Review of Andrew Shapiro, The Control Revolution in the Swiss Political Science Review, 5, Autumn 1999.

“The Implementation of Commitments Made at Major United Nations Conferences,” International Journal of Technical Cooperation, 4 (Winter 1998).

“UN Secretariat: The Gatekeepers of Ideas” in Anita Anand (ed.), Beijing! UN Fourth World Conference on Women, New Delhi: Women’s Feature Service, 1998.

“World Citizenship: the individual and international governance”, paper presented at Third Pan-European Conference on International Studies, Vienna, Austria. September 16-19,1998

“International Public Regulation of the Internet: Who Will Give You Your Domain Name? “, paper presented at International Studies Association Panel on Cyberhype or the Deterritorialization of Politics? The Internet in a Post-Westphalian Order, Minneapolis, March 21, 1998, with Charles C. Kuhlman

“An International Communication Policy: The Internet, international regulation and new policy structures”, paper presented at the annual convention of the International Telecommunications Society, Stockholm, Sweden, June 1998, with Charles C. Kuhlman

“Sisterhood Becomes Global:  the United Nations and the Globalization of Gender,” Paper prepared for the Conference on “Globalization and its (Dis)Contents: Multiple Perspectives, Michigan State University, April 3-4, 1998

“Who Controls the Machine, Revisited:  Command and control in the United Nations reform effort,” Public Administration and Development, 17 (1997).

“Delivering Global Services:  What Next?”  paper prepared for the panel on Equipping an International Coping Mechanism, 31st Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Toronto, 18-22 March 1997.

“De Nairobi a Pékin:  la evolución del Programa político de las mujeres en las Naciones Unidas,” in La Mujer en el Mundo de Hoy: Situación y Políticas de los Gobiernos, Fundación Once, Colección Solidaridad, No. 10, Madrid:  Escuela Libre Editorial, 1997.

Gender, Education and Development, (ed. with Maria Hartl), Turin: ILO International Training Centre, 1996.

“Managing the Global Commons:  Reform and the United Nations beyond the Nation-State”, paper prepared for the annual seminar of the Norwegian Research Council, February, 1996.

“Women” at the Symposium on UN Global Conferences, The Ralph Bunche Institute on the United Nations, February 1, 1996

“Social Policy and Planning” in Managing Human Development, Karachi: North-South Roundtable, 1988 (Khalidja Haq and Uner Kirdar, eds.) with Margaret J. Anstee.

"Who Controls the Machine? The Programme Planning Process in the Reform Effort," Public Administration and Development, Vol 7 (No. 2).

"The Diagnostics of Reform:  The Evolving Tasks and Functions of the United Nations," Public Administration and Development, Vol 7 (No. 2), with Dennis Smith.

"Evolution of tasks and functions of the United Nations, 1945-1986 and its implications for administrative reform," paper presented to the 48th annual meeting of the American Society for Public Administration, Anaheim, California, 1986.

"Assessment of the Social Impact of Rural Water Projects,"  paper for an Inter-regional Seminar on Rural Water Supply, Uppsala, Sweden, 5-16 October 1980, with Inge Kaul.

"Voluntary Action in Venezuela," Voluntary Action Research, 1974, ed. David Horton Smith (1974), with Arnoldus van Niekirk.

"Old Boys, Alumni and Consensus in ECLA Meetings," Communication in International Politics, ed. Richard L. Merritt, Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 1972.

"Powerlessness among Urban Poor:  Towards the Use of Mass Communications for Rapid Social Change," Studies in Comparative International Development, 7 (Spring 1972).

"Participation and Efficacy:  Aspects of Peasant Involvement in Political Mobilization," Comparative Politics, 4 (April 1972), with John D. Powell.

Leonardo Ruiz Pineda:  Case Study of an Agrarian Reform Settlement in Venezuela, CIDA Studies on Agrarian Reform, No. 7, 1968, with William Thiesenhusen, Ricardo Alezones and Ramon Pugh.

"The Venezuelan Campesino:  Perspectives on Change,” in A Strategy for Research on Social Policy, edited by Frank Bonilla and José A. Silva Michelena, Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1967.

Caicara de Maturín: Case Study of an Agrarian Reform Settlement in Venezuela, CIDA Studies on Agrarian Reform, No. 1, 1967, with Eric B. Shearer.

The Nigerian popular press: A case study of a communications system in an underdeveloped country, Northfield, Minnesota: St. Olaf College, 1962.



I occasionally am asked to speak at the United Nations in New York, Geneva and Vienna and have been asked to speak at places like the Berkeley Forum.

I follow my pedagogical mentor, Johan Sebastian Bach by emphasizing principes (in my case theory, in his case reading music), exemplum (in my case, case studies, in his watching him play the organ) and imitation (in my case, simulations; in his case, having his students play the organ).  The classes are interactive and all involve simulations.

PADM 5450.  International Public and NGO Management

PADM 5345.  Evaluation of International Programs and Projects

PADM 5855.  International Human Rights

B.A. summa cum laude, St. Olaf College, 1963

PhD. in political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1968

Advising Master's Students at CIPA.


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