About The Cuny Center


The Cuny Center is a non-profit research and educational institute that studies and develops practical solutions to address the needs of societies affected by disasters and complex emergencies.


The Center was founded as the Intertect Institute in 1987 by Fred Cuny and later became the Center for the Study of Societies in Crisis. In 2000, the name was changed to The Cuny Center to honor its founder who disappeared in Chechnya in 1995.

What We Do

When war, famine, or earthquakes strike, the world community often responds with an outpouring of financial and human resources. Contrary to the intention, too often the use of these resources impedes recovery and causes economic hardship and political turmoil. The Cuny Center seeks to identify the best strategies, practices, and approaches that lead instead toward the reconstruction of a society better prepared to prevent, mitigate and respond to future crises.

The Center bridges the chasm between policy, research, and field programs. To this end, the Center sponsors and executes applied research, publications, seminars, conferences, training workshops, and demonstration projects. Assembling humanitarian assistance and disaster specialists, field practitioners, academics, and policy analysts to participate in these activities is the Center's strength and its primary objective. Center forums encourage open and spirited discussions of new ideas, raise awareness of the links between crises and development, and lead to creative solutions to the critical problems of crisis prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and response.

The Cuny Center is dedicated to continuing and building on Fred Cuny's principles, ideals, and vision. The Center seeks to maintain a broad base of support in order to enhance its position as an independent, multi-disciplinary organization by soliciting both specific project support and general operating funds from private foundations, governmental agencies, corporations, and individuals.

Examples of Cuny Center projects include:

  • A multi-year study on refugee repatriation, resulting in the publication of the following books: Refugee Repatriation During Conflict, Repatriation Under Conflict in Central America, and Repatriation During Conflict in Africa and Asia;
  • Co-sponsorship with the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Human Rights on a conference focusing on field-based strategies for the protection of civilians under threat;
  • Capacity-building for stabilization in East Africa; and
  • Examination of the operational capacity to link peacebuilding to humanitarian operations among several NGOs.

How To Work With Us

The Cuny Center accepts proposals and concepts from individuals and organizations interested in furthering the Center's mission.