Executive leadership team
Anne Kjersti Fahlvik
Acting Chief Executive
Fahlvik has broad R&D and innovation system experience through the research she has conducted in Norway and Sweden, her researcher and management roles in the pharmaceutical industry in Norway and the USA, as well as experience from an investor-financed start-up company in the field of medtech. She has been with the Research Council since 2006, has a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Oslo and is an active lecturer, evaluator, mentor and jury member in Norwegian and foreign innovation and business arenas.
Tove Karin Stølen
Executive Director (COO) – Business administration and technology
Stølen has been with the Research Council since 2013, and is responsible for contributing to the overall coordination, management and development of the Research Council as an organisation. She has previously held positions as Director of the Norwegian Agriculture Agency, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, and Department Director at the National Library of Norway, where she also formed part of the executive management team.
Executive Director – Societal development and digitalisation
Simonsen is an agricultural economist, and has previously held the positions of State Secretary for the Department of Environment for the Norwegian Liberal Party, Research Director at the Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute (now part of the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research – NIBIO) and researcher at the Norwegian College of Agriculture (now the Norwegian University of Life Sciences – NMBU). He joined the Research Council in 2000, where he has also previously been responsible for health research, global development and social science environmental research.
Fridtjof Fossum Unander
Executive Director – Sustainability and the green transition
Before joining the Research Council in 2008, Unander was deputy CEO and acting CEO at Enova SF, a state enterprise responsible for energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes in Norway. He has nine years of experience from the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, where he was acting head of the division for energy technology and chief administrator. He has also been a senior researcher at the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) in Norway, and guest lecturer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley.
Executive Director – Internationalisation and the research system
Danielsen has a PhD from the University of Kentucky in horse nutrition and exercise physiology, and had six years of business experience before starting at the Research Council in 2002. She was previously chair of the board of EUREKA and the Association of Innovation Agencies in Europe (Taftie) and has held several positions under the European Commission. She is currently a member of the board of directors of NordForsk and Fulbright in Norway, and of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).
Executive Director – Communications and user experience
The communication department is responsible for ensuring that the Research Council’s target groups are familiar with its funding instruments. It also endeavours to create understanding for the contribution of research to societal development and knowledge-based social dialogue. National schemes such as the Research Days, the Nysgjerrigper Science Knowledge Project and the Young Researchers competition therefore fall under this area of communication.
Torp has broad experience of similar roles from companies including DNV GL, Statoil (now Equinor) and Storebrand before joining the Research Council in 2018. She has a business degree from the University of Neuchâtel and is a member of the board of the Polytechnic Society, and in Norway, is on the board of EACD (European Association of Communication Directors).
The Chief Executive’s staff have the overall coordination responsibility for areas including strategy, goal and performance management, internal management processes and systems, research and innovation policy and overarching advisory roles. Søgnen is a political scientist and has worked for the Research Council since 2009. Her former position was Deputy Director of the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), where she previously also worked as a researcher and research manager. She was also editor of the trade journal Forskningspolitikk (2003–2008). Søgnen has many years of experience of studying research policy and research organisation, and on the evaluation of research. She has held various directorship positions and has sat on various committees in this respect. She is currently a national delegate of the OECD’s Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP).
Executive Director (CFO) – Analysis and portfolio management
Boulmer started at the Research Council in January 2020. He has a business degree from ESSEC Business School in Paris and has experience of financial management and advisory services. He was previously a partner in Deloitte and has in recent years been Head of Valuation at the Norwegian Tax Administration, where he has led an interdisciplinary advisory section that focuses on international transactions.
Boulmer’s expertise in business valuation and assessment of technology and intellectual property rights is renowned, and he has long experience of arbitration processes and legal proceedings in valuation cases through his regular appointment as arbitrator, expert witness and judge.