The Catholic University of America


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IED Program Faculty Share Practical Knowledge Based on Field Experience

Our full-time faculty are pioneers in the field of integral economic development and bring extensive knowledge and expertise to the IED Program. They are complemented by our adjunct faculty, who teach more than 80 percent of the courses and leverage their practical knowledge of development to ensure student success.

For a full biography, please click on the faculty member's name.

Hon. Maria Sophia Aguirre, Ph.D.


"Today there is a great need to accomplish sustainable economic development through an integral approach. This approach seeks to strengthen the civil and social institutions involved, maintaining an integral view of the person in society and, consequently, a focus on the economic agent’s decision process acknowledging him/her in a holistic manner and in his/her social dimension."  

Sonia Cavallo, M.A.

"My public policy background and in particular my interest in comparative healthcare has led me to study development cases and understand the challenges faced by developing nations as they design, implement and evaluate economic and social reforms. Teaching this class at the Integral Economic Development Program of The Catholic University of America will allow me to reconcile theory and the practice in development though political lenses."

Martha Cruz-Zuniga, Ph.D.

"If you are seriCruzously interested in helping people everywhere to overcome poverty, corruption, lack of access to credit, and other critical problems…then Economic Development is your field and The Catholic University of America is the place to be. We provide students with tools to explore solutions that, considering the person in a holistic manner, create a real opportunity for achieving sustainable development." 

Eugenio Diaz Bonilla, Ph.D.

 “Authentic development cannot be limited to mere economic growth. For it to be integral, and thus authentic, it must promote the good of every man and uphold his inherent dignity. It needs, among other things, appropriate public policies and institutions. The course I am teaching looks at the adequacy of design and implementation of public policies, covering both market failure and equity issues which may require public interventions and consider government failures that may detract from integral development.”


Mark Hanssen, Ph.D.

"I am interested in conveying the fundamental role of ethics and culture in international development, on the macro theoretical level and on the day to day project level. I want to help students see the importance of keeping the higher aspirations of integral human development in focus when thinking about economic life, when designing projects and dealing with project participants. I want to convey the complexity of the relation between economic science and other disciplines and the need for extreme care in international development work to grasp the real context, needs and opportunities facing local communities made up of real human beings and their families, not just impoverished aggregates."


Mary Rice Hasson, J.D.

"The passion and skill that the IED students bring to the table are second to none and the program’s emphasis on measuring development with an eye towards the impact on the individual, institutions, and the community--as well as the achievement of specific program objectives--is a game-changer for development success."


Gabriela Herrera-Gugiu, M.A.

"Strong communication skills are the back bone to success in business, personal careers and philanthropy. A well-defined message and the right vehicles to disseminate that message is the only path forward."



David M. Leege, Ph.D.

 “The IEDM program allows students to understand development holistically in all of its dimensions, making them better practitioners focused on helping people to achieve their full human potential, while contributing to the common good. Agriculture and rural development plays a fundamental role in this process in many developing countries and serves as an important foundation for understanding how best to enhance human well-being.”

Mary M. Njeri Njai, M.A.


"Accounting is at the core of operations. Now, more than ever, financial accountability is a central theme for all organizations - be they business, government, or not for profit. Accounting is an essential skill to acquire regardless of one’s major discipline."



Father Richard Ryscavage, S.J.

 "I am delighted to be teaching in the innovative new graduate programs in international development at The Catholic University of America. For a long time I have noted the lack of an integral approach to development. The study of economic development needs to have core foundational principles that can guide the development process. These fundamental perspectives offer fresh paths for designing development policy steps as well as providing better ways of evaluating different approaches. The fact that the students come from all over the world creates a rich and exciting global learning environment which mirrors the contemporary global workplace where they will eventually go on to practice their professional skills."


Celeste Marie Torio, Ph.D., M.P.H.

"Teaching a course with an eye toward innovative   solutions is not only challenging, but exhilarating because I realize that I am teaching students (who exhibit a passion to change the world for the better) how to use methodologies in the context of advancing human dignity and the common good."



Luanne Zurlo, M.A.


"What makes the studying in CUA’s IED program so unique is its focus on the whole human person. To understand how and why countries develop, one must understand the motivations and desires of the human heart."



Thomas Rehermann, Ph.D.

Thomas Rehermann, PHD worked at the International Finance Cooperation, The world Bank as a lead coordinator. In addition, Dr. Rehermann worked as a consultant for American Institute of Contemporary German Studies, and ‘Prokurist’ for Merck, Finich & Co.


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