Swedes Worldwide´s Board of Directors is elected in the end of August at the annual meeting each year. They are primarily responsible for the organization’s business between annual meetings. The Board meet regularly throughout the year, and also share obligations in a number of working groups focusing on matters such as strategy, finance, programs, communication, returning Swedes and the nomination committee. Below is a presentation of the Board for fiscal year 2016.
Chairman of the Board
Karin Ehnbom-Palmquist began as a student politician and information officer at the University of Lund. She has since made a career in the Foreign Ministry and served at the Consulate General in Chicago, the Embassy in Bonn, as head of the Swedish Information Office in New York City, second in command at the embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, and Ambassador to Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. She has also been the Chief of Protocol at the Foreign Office. As General Secretary of Swedes Worldwide Karin wants to promote the interest of Swedes abroad and to see them as a valuable resource.
Lennart Koskinen is the bishop emeritus who among other things has worked as a sailor priest in Peru and Brazil, dean of Stockholm and the Swedish bishop in the Church abroad. Now he is a partner in Gaia Leadership who coach decision makers in private and public sectors – both in Sweden and abroad. Through Swedes Worldwide Lennart wishes to help Swedes living abroad in difficulty and crisis, with questions about the burial of the deceased in their home country and to break the isolation many can experience.
Gunnar Gillberg graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics in 1967. Gunnar has enjoyed a stellar business career in the US while keeping in touch with the Swedish business world. Throughout the years he has had various assignments with large Swedish companies, such as Astra, Swedish Match, Svenska Varv, Tarkett and Kanthal.
Board member and Chairman of the Nomination Committee
Claes-Johan Geijer has extensive experience in the industrial and banking world. He has worked for Swedish Match, Stora and Lexmark Corporation in several countries. Claes-Johan has also been CEO of Swedbank in London and Luxembourg and the private bank Banque Carnegie of the latter country. Today he works as an independent advisor and board member with Luxembourg as a base and is also the Swedish honorary consul in the country.
Kai Hammerich has, after university degrees, a background in journalism, international organizations, the business sector, "government" and entrepreneurship. He was formerly vice president of Saab-Scania AB and Director-General of Invest in Sweden Agency. Today he runs his own company and is a board member in a number of companies.
Birgitta Laurent is a lawyer and economist at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise with responsibility for public procurement and competition issues. She previously served as international secretary of the then Swedish Employers' Confederation and surveyed tax and social security system in the EU. This meant among other things that she traveled around Europe in order to describe families living conditions, concluded in a book. She has also served as chief secretary in a government investigation which analyzed social welfare and equality from a European perspective. Finally, Birgitta was responsible for ILO issues, relating to employers' commitment to the UN's International Labor Organization.
Åsa Lena Lööf
Åsa Lena Loof has a background in special pedagogics, psychology, and school management – trained in Sweden, USA and the UK. During her time as principal of the Swedish School in London a secondary school was introduced. For seven years (five years as chairman) Åsa Lena was the responsible of SWEA International Inc. She lives in Florida and is active at the Swedish consulate, church, school, SACC and SWEA and is a board member of the Swedish Council of America, Friends of the Conservatory of Music, Lynn University, The Kisengo Foundation for Democratic Republic of Congo, The Advisory Board at the Women's Wellness Center, Boca Raton Hospital.
Annika Rembe is the General Director of the Swedish Institute and chairman of its advisory council. She has extensive experience of promoting Sweden abroad, including as General Commissioner of Sweden's participation in the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, as Head of Communications at Invest Sweden and as Chairman of the European Union National Institutes for Culture. In her role as a board member of Swedes Worldwide Annika wants to raise issues among others related to international exchange for work, study and research.
Barbro Sachs-Osher lives since the early 80's in San Francisco, where she is the Honorary Swedish Consul General to California. With the publishing and advertising background Barbro has in the United States represented among others IVA and Positive Sweden. She founded SWEA SF 1982. Barbro has a number of American honorary assignments eg in UC Berkeley Foundation. Bernard and Barbro Osher foundations supports higher education in the United States, cultural projects in the United States and Sweden and Integrative Medicine at UCSF, Harvard, and KI. To strengthen the Swedish profile and the Nordic cooperation in the United States is close to her heart.
Lisa Emelia Svensson
Lisa Emelia Svensson is a diplomat and has worked at the the Swedish Trade Council in New York, at the Embassy in Washington DC and at the European Commission's trade directorate in Brussels, as an expert on sustainable development. Lisa was previously an ambassador for sustainable business in the State Department. Today she works as the Swedish marine and water ambassador. She has a PhD from the School of Economics. In Swedes Worldwide, Lisa Emelia – based on how the world looks today – wants to put Sweden on the worldmap and to bring the world to Sweden.
Jonas Hafström graduated in law from the University of Lund in 1974, and after the clerkship he was accepted at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1979. Jonas has moreover worked as Press Secretary to the Minister of Justice and as First Embassy Secretary in Tehran and Washington, D.C. Between 1987 and 1999 Jonas served as foreign policy adviser to Carl Bildt. He has served as Head of Unit for Consular Affairs and Civil Affairs at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Jonas was also the Swedish ambassador to Thailand (accredited also to Laos, Cambodia and Burma/Myanmar). Between 2007 and 2013 he was the Swedish ambassador to the US, and since March 2015 he is the Chairman of the Board of Lund University.
Ibbe Gnem is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Distriktstandvården.se (Online dental service) which consists of 18 clinics. He has previously held senior positions in the IT industry, including ownership and CEO of Megabyte Systems. Ibbe is active in boards and non-profit organizations, such as the Entrepreneurs and the Palestine International Business Forum. He also lectures on positive leadership and is co-author of the book "Leadership School - Who is behind the wheel?"
Claudia Olsson is the founder and CEO of Exponential Holding AB and affiliated to the faculty at Singularity University, NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. Claudia has worked at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as an expert in technical development. She is the founder and originator of several companies and initiatives in education and digital health. Claudia has lived in Singapore where she as CEO led the reconstruction of the ACCESS Health International in Southeast Asia. She has also worked for the UN Economic and Social Council in New York.
Youth Member of the Board
Anders Söderström is a former trainee at the Swedes Worldwide, and he has a degree in political science from the Stockholm University. After the trainee period, Anders worked as project leader for the mapping of Swedes living abroad; a project that was presented during the summer of 2015 and generated a great deal of attention in the media. Anders is also a member of the Board for Save the Children's Stockholm District. Anders would like to get more young adults and students to come into contact with Swedes Worldwide, and to contribute with his experience working at the Swedes Worldwide office.
Youth Member of the Board
Kristin Öster is the President of the Saco Student Council, where she works to facilitate the transition from study to work. Kristin is a psychology student at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and has previously been active in the Psychological Association's student council. As a member of the board, Kristin would like to contribute a youth and student perspective by working for the many students and young adults who are moving abroad, for example in connection to studies.