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Henrik Thune named new NOREF director

The Board of NOREF Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution has appointed Dr Henrik Thune as the Centre’s new director.

Thune currently serves as the Centre’s deputy director and is thus already an important asset for NOREF. “On behalf of the Board, I am very pleased to announce that Henrik Thune has accepted the position of director”, says Trond Bakkevig, chair of the NOREF Board. “He has been central in strengthening NOREF’s profile on Track II diplomacy and mediation support, and we are confident that his strong academic record and practical experience of working with peace and reconciliation processes qualify him to lead the Centre’s work in the future”, adds Bakkevig.

“NOREF is a one-of-a-kind institution in Norway”, says Thune. “Although still a young organisation, it has established its place, and we will continue to build on this foundation. I feel honoured by the Board’s trust, as the task at hand is challenging and our ambitions are high: by cultivating the Norwegian tradition and model for conflict resolution and reconciliation we want to be part of creating a strong international milieu for Track II private diplomacy. NOREF will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to achieve this, and my hope is that we can make real contributions in a world that more than ever needs conflict resolution. At its best, it is an extremely effective way of conducting foreign policy”, Thune concludes.

Prior to joining NOREF, between 1997 and 2015 Thune held a number of positions at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, among them senior researcher and head of the Middle East Programme, while in the interim serving in several positions in the MFA, i.e. as senior advisor in the Section for Peace and Reconciliation (2006-2009) and project manager in the secretariat of former minister of foreign affairs Jonas Gahr Støre (2010-2012). He has authored numerous books and academic publications on great-power politics, conflicts in the Middle East, peace processes and Norwegian foreign policy.

He holds a PhD in political science and a master’s in international relations from the University of Oslo and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Thune will assume his new position 1 November 2016, succeeding Mariano Aguirre, who ends his term after having served since 2008.

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