Egeland and Brende move on

Bookmark and Share

The high-profile directors for two major Norwegian organizations are moving on, and, in one case, out of the country. Jan Egeland, the former diplomat and top UN official, is joining Human Rights Watch, while Børge Brende, a former politician and head of the Red Cross in Norway, is taking over the top job at the World Economic Forum.

Jan Egeland during his time leading UN relief efforts. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

Egeland, age 54, had a long career as a diplomat in Norway before joining the United Nations, where he served as Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Before that he was secretary general of the Norwegian Red Cross and heavily involved in relief efforts around the world. As a diplomat he played key roles in the Middle East peace process and as a peace broker in Colombia.

Now he’s agreed to become European director for Human Rights Watch after spending the past four years as head of the Norwegian foreign policy institute NUPI (Norsk Utenrikspolitisk Institutt). New York-based Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading human rights organizations. Egeland will head its offices in Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Geneva from Oslo, according to a statement from NUPI.

Another Red Cross leader leaves
Brende, meanwhile, has only been secretary general of the Norwegian Red Cross since the summer of 2009. That’s when he returned to Norway after taking leave from his spot as a Member of Parliament for the Conservatives to work for the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Børge Brende is leaving the Norwegian Red Cross to return to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. PHOTO: Norges Røde Kors

Now he’s returning to the World Economic Forum, as managing director. He’ll work with the Forum’s political initiatives and community contact, reported news bureau NTB.

The Red Cross is the largest volunteer humanitarian organization in Norway, with 140,000 members and nearly 25,000 active volunteers.

Brende, age 46, is a former leader of the Young Conservatives, held a seat in parliament for many years and served as minister for the environment and for business and trade in a center-right government headed by Kjell Magne Bondevik.

Views and News staff