Jan Egeland is the next head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), a large humanitarian organization working to improve displaced persons all over the world. He is currently Europe director for Human Rights Watch.
Egeland, 56, has several international jobs on his CV, including a spell as UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. In 2006 he was named by Time Magazine as “one of 100 people who shape our world.” He’ll replace Elisabeth Rasmusson, who is moving on to the United Nations to become a director with the World Food Programme.
“As secretary-general for the NRC, Jan Egeland will be a courageous spokesperson for the displaced people in the world,” the chairman of NRC’s board, Idar Kreutzer said in a press release.
Egeland has been secretary-general for the Norwegian Red Cross, UN Special Advisor for the peace negotiations in Colombia and Norwegian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1997. He has also served on the board of the International Crisis Group and held several positions with Amnesty International. Never shy of the limelight, Egeland was a very visible head of Norway’s foreign policy institute (NUPI) before going to Human Rights watch.
According to its own figures, the NRC operated in 20 conflict regions thoughout the world last year, assisting more than three million beneficiaries. It currently has a staff of 3500.