Visit from new GRÓ Director General

18 June 2021
From left: Stefan Úlfarsson, Mary Frances Davidson, Julie Ingham, Nína Björk Jónsdóttir, Jón Karl Ól…
From left: Stefan Úlfarsson, Mary Frances Davidson, Julie Ingham, Nína Björk Jónsdóttir, Jón Karl Ólafsson, Þór Ásgerisson

This week, the Fisheries Training Programme was pleased to welcome the newly appointed Director General for the GRÓ Centre, Ms. Nína Björk Jónsdóttir, for a visit to our offices. Ms. Jónsdóttir and Mr Jón Karl Ólafsson, Chairman of the GRÓ Board, were welcomed by the GRÓ-FTP staff, who introduced the programme and its new facility at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute in Hafnarfjörður.

Ms. Jónsdóttir has been working for the Icelandic Foreign Service since 2005. Over the last two years she has been the Director for Business Services at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. From 2016-2019 she acted as Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Iceland to EFTA, the WTO, UNOG and other international organisations in Geneva. She was posted to the Embassy of Iceland in Paris from 2012-2016, where she acted as Deputy Head of Mission (from 2013), Deputy Permanent Representative to the OECD, and from 2014 also to UNESCO and the Council of Europe. During the years 2009-2011 Ms. Jónsdóttir worked in the Directorate for International affairs, particularly on climate change and gender issues. She took part in the UNFCCC negotiations on climate change, attended sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women, took part in preparing the first year of the GEST program of GRÓ and worked on Iceland’s National Action Plan for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. In 2005-2008 she worked on external trade, in particular on the running of the EEA Agreement. Before joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Jónsdóttir worked in journalism as a TV and Radio reporter, as well as writing for an Icelandic newspaper.

Ms. Jónsdóttir holds an MA in International Politics and Security Studies from Bradford University, as well as a Post-graduate diploma in Journalism and a BA in French and Political Science from the University of Iceland. She is the author of Íslandsdætur (Daughters of Iceland) a book for children and young adults published by Salka in 2020 and one of two authors of the book How to Live Icelandic that will be published by White Lion Publishing in late 2021.

Nína Björk Jónsdóttir succeeds Friðrik Jónsson who was elected Chairman of the Icelandic Confederation of University Graduates (BHM) on 27 May.