In 1998, some senior HR people from the UN System and the International Financial Institutions got together to brainstorm and ponder what to do about the status and practice of the management of human resources in both international governmental and international non-governmental organizations.

The brainstormers noted that, while these organizations were increasingly investing in training and development for their staff, those who had to oversee the management of people were often left out (like the proverbial cobbler’s child who goes barefoot). They also noted that a number of companies were selling off-the-shelf training programmes that were expensive and not always very adequate for their organizations’ unique circumstances.

Looking at other professional human resources management associations, they noted that these generally focussed on the private sector and were ethno-centric, largely driven by an Anglo-Saxon vision of the world. In other words, they were not really international, even when this word was contained in their name.

Thus the Association for Human Resources Management in International Organizations (AHRMIO) was conceived and born as a truly international association that would reflect in its membership, events and research the unique characteristics of international not- for-profit organizations.

Since AHRMIO’s official inauguration in 1999, the world has developed a greater understanding of how important these organizations are to the daily lives of many people across the globe. Since for most organizations their main resource is their people, they’d better get their HR management right.

AHRMIO started with only some twenty organizations. It now numbers nearly seventy! Clearly, it has met a need. But it always seeks to improve and serve its membership better.



The Association for Human Resources Management in International Organizations (AHRMIO) is dedicated to furthering the management of people in not-for-profit international organizations in the governmental and non-governmental sectors.

These organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, provide the world with support and relief in peace and security, scientific research, development and human rights and humanitarian aid. They are at the cutting edge of the development of new ideas and approaches to the problems facing the international community.

Their strength is their people.

Only through their people can these organizations attain their objectives and meet their mandates. Managers must deploy human resources in the most effective and efficient way possible in order to deliver programmes and execute projects of high quality. They have to motivate staff and create a close-knit team of them. They have to earn the cooperation and respect of colleagues of different nationalities, cultures and linguistic backgrounds.

The Association seeks to strengthen the development and effectiveness of all those charged with responsibility for people management, be they human resources specialists or line managers.

The Association does this through:

  • providing professional development opportunities,
  • conducting conferences and meetings to advance the state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice of human resources management,
  • researching human resources management issues within international organizations and publishing the results of its research for organizations and the wider management community.
  • investing and building capacity in future talent

The Association helps people managers to build networks and come together in different forums to exchange experience. It provides a neutral environment where the rigours of the daily routine can be replaced by reflection on the complex role of human resources specialists and managers in upholding the values of the organization and in particular the preservation of honesty and ethical behaviour at all levels of the organization.

In sum, the Association supports its members to provide inspirational leadership to their own organizations and to others in the international organization community.

Contact us

  • by e-mail : info@ahrmio.org
  • by fax: +41 22 594 81 30
  • by phone: +41 22 755 44 10
  • by mail: AHRMIO, c/o EFMD Global Network, Grand-Montfleury 48, CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland