Gerrit Kurtz is a non-resident fellow with the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin. Since 2022, he is an associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), where he is a member of the Africa and Middle East Division. He previously worked for the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and GPPi. His research interests revolve around the prevention and management of armed conflict, the politics of international organizations and German foreign policy, with a regional focus on the Horn of Africa.
Between 2012 and 2015, Gerrit worked on the research project Global Norm Evolution and the Responsibility to Protect, which brought together partners from Brazil, China, India, and Europe. In addition, he conducted field research on local conflict management by the UN Mission in South Sudan, and on bureaucratic efforts to improve the UN system’s human rights capacities. He is a co-author of Protection and Responsibility: An Analysis of US Foreign Policy to Prevent Mass Atrocities, a study commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Foundation that proposes recommendations to German policymakers. His commentary has appeared in, among others, The Hindu, Tagesspiegel, ZEIT Online, and Frankfurter Rundschau.
Gerrit was a visiting researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Colombo, the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo, the Sudd Institute in Juba, and the Energy and Resources Institute University in New Delhi. His professional experience also includes internships at the German Bundestag, the German embassy in Colombo, and the United Nations Security Council Affairs Division in the Department of Political Affairs, where he worked for a UN sanctions committee.
Gerrit earned his PhD at King’s College London, where his research focused on the contribution of diplomatic missions and the United Nations country presence to conflict prevention in Sri Lanka and South Sudan. He holds a master’s degree in international relations through a joint program from the University of Potsdam, Free University, and Humboldt University in Berlin. Gerrit was awarded his bachelor’s degree in governance and public policy from the University of Passau and spent two semesters at Sciences Po Grenoble. He has received scholarships from the German National Academic Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom.