Torunn Gjelsvik New Secretary General of ICDE

tg- profile picture 3.jpg

The Board of Trustees has employed Ms. Torunn Gjelsvik as the new Secretary General of ICDE. Gjelsvik is currently the Executive Director of Flexible Education Norway and assumes her new position on January 1st, 2020.

-Torunn Gjelsvik is a highly experienced leader and professional within the field of online, open and distance learning. Her knowledge of online, distance and open education, as well as management and leadership across membership organizations, makes her highly attractive as the Secretary General of ICDE, says Helmut Hoyer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

ICDE is the leading global membership organization in online, open and distance education with a long and proud history, extensive network and committed members and executives. ICDE works ensuring equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG).

- I truly believe that ICDE has an untapped potential for increased outreach, new strategic partnerships and significant contribution to the global education agenda. Together with its members, board and talented colleagues, I look forward to developing ICDE further, says Torunn Gjelsvik.

Extensive Experience in Distance Education

For the past years, Gjelsvik has been the Executive Director of Flexible Education Norway, ICDEs Norwegian sister organization – transitioning from her role as Head of Development of ICDE in 2018. Prior, she has worked several years in the education and publishing sector, holding various executive positions. Gjelsvik was among other the Rector of Akademiet Online Studies and NKI Online Studies from 2011 to 2015, as well as having worked for BI Norwegian Business School as Head of Development from 2006 to 2011. Gjelsvik holds a master in Nordic Languages and Literature from the University of Oslo, in addition to several executive management courses from BI Norwegian Business School. Gjelsvik furthermore studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris and holds several international board positions.

- Building on my 20 years of professional experience within the field of online, open and distance learning, I have developed a strong commitment to flexible education as enabler for sustainable development in the world. I am sincerely fond of ICDE and enthusiastically ambitious on behalf of the organization. I cannot wait to give it my everything, says Gjelsvik.

The interest for the position as Secretary General of ICDE was significant, and the Board of Trustees in collaboration with the Executive Committee and Election Committee has had a thorough process and evaluated many candidates.

- In addition to extensive and broad educational management experience, Gjelsvik has considerable knowledge of several of ICDEs priority areas, such as lifelong learning, internationalization and SDG 4. We are therefore confident that she will continue to develop ICDE for the best of both employees and members, says Hoyer, adding that Gjelsvik is the first female Secretary General in ICDEs eighty-one-year long history.

Board of Trustees Thanks Interim Secretary General Paulsen

Morten Flate Paulsen, former Vice-Chair of the ICDE Board of Trustees has served as the interim Secretary General since July 2018, stepping in after former Secretary General Gard Titlestad retired.

- ICDE has under Morten Flate Paulsen’s sound management experienced strong membership growth and enjoys confidence both among its members and funding authorities, says Hoyer. – On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to congratulate and thank him for his great efforts over the past year.

Under Morten Flate Paulsen’s leadership ICDE upgraded and optimized all its administrative infrastructure, relaunched a new communications platform and website, as well as moving into new offices in central Oslo, shared with Flexible Education Norway. During the same period ICDEs membership numbers grew, and operational costs were reduced. Paulsen also made efforts in terms of increased outreach, resulting in ICDE being more visible in the field.

- I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work more operationally with ICDE in this period of transition. The position of Secretary General requires a wide array of skills and knowledge, and I am confident that Torunn Gjelsvik will lead the organization to success. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my many talented colleagues who each day do a fantastic job for our members and have all the prerequisites for further developing ICDE. I also want to thank the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee for their support, says Paulsen.

Paulsen will continue leading the organisation until end of year 2019, before returning to his work at the Nordic Open Online Academy (NooA) which he established in 2012.

* * *