03 December 2019

Merete Eldrup is the new chair of the Board of the University of Copenhagen – three external board members have also been appointed.

Board

Former CEO of TV 2 Danmark is the new chair of the Board of the University of Copenhagen with effect from 1 January 2020.

Merete Eldrup, new chair of the Board of the University of Copenhagen, holds an MSc in Economics from the University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen's appointment body has appointed Merete Eldrup as the new chair of the Board of the University of Copenhagen. Three new external board members have also been appointed: Mikkel Bogh, Director of SMK, The National Gallery of Denmark, Jan S. Hesthaven, Dean of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, and Agnete Raaschou-Nielsen, former CEO and now a professional board member, have been appointed as new external members of the Board of the University of Copenhagen.

On the basis of the recommendations of the University of Copenhagen's nomination body and pursuant to the Statutes of the University and approval by the Minister for Higher Education and Science, a unanimous appointment body has appointed Merete Eldrup as chair of the Board of the University of Copenhagen to take over from Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Executive Vice President of Research and Development, Novo Nordisk, when he resigns his chairmanship on 31 December 2019.

Merete Eldrup holds an MSc in Economics from the University of Copenhagen and has had a long career in public administration and the private sector. With her background and experience with strategic leadership in large organisations such as the Danish TV 2 channel, collaboration with the political level, insight into societal matters and management experience, Ms Eldrup meets the nomination body’s competence requirement for a chairperson [link] - in addition to the requirements laid down in the Statutes. Read about the competency requirements here.

Exceptionally strong candidate

The chairman of the appointment body, Christian Grøndahl, MD, co-founder and CEO of SNIPE Biome, says:

- Merete Eldrup is an exceptionally strong candidate. In the appointment body, we are delighted that, with Ms Eldrup, the University of Copenhagen will have a chairperson who has top executive skills and experience, which will be a huge benefit for the Board, day-to-day management and the University as such. In her career Merete Eldrup has worked with strategic leadership at the highest level and under a variety of political and economic framework conditions. She will complement the rectorate brilliantly. In addition, she has proven as an executive and experienced board member that she is attentive; she can bring people together and put different competencies into play in decision-making processes. I’m very pleased that Merete Eldrup will spend the next years working to realise the University’s strategic plan and consolidate its position as an internationally leading university. She will be an excellent chair."

Merete Eldrup: A fantastic opportunity

- I’m looking very much forward to my new assignment. The development of society builds to a great extent on the universities' ability to educate highly qualified graduates and create research for the benefit of society at large while at the same time paving the way for new human cognition. A common thread in my working life has been a profound societal interest, and for me it’s a fantastic opportunity to become chair of the Board of the University of Copenhagen. With its academic breadth and prominent position in the national and international educational and research landscape, the University is of key significance for the Danish society. I have always sought to forge good relations – internally and externally – and this is something I will bring along to the board room and in my dealings with the Rector and the Executive Management, so that the University can appear strong and unified.    

Three new external board members:

Three new external board members have also been appointed. They join the Board on 1 January 2020, when the current external members Sine Sunesen, Kari Melby and Jakob Thomasen will be stepping down.

From left: Mikkel Bogh, Jan S. Hesthaven, Agnete Raaschou-Nielsen
  • Mikkel Bogh is Director of SMK, the National Gallery of Denmark, and holds an MA in Art History from the University of Copenhagen. By virtue of his experience as head of department at the University of Copenhagen, rector of the Danish Schools of Visual Arts and museum director, Mikkel Bogh has a broad humanities background and in-depth knowledge of both the University of Copenhagen, the museum sector and research and education within art and culture at top executive level.
     
  • Jan S. Hesthaven is Dean of the School of Basic Science, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, Professor of Mathematics, MSc Engineering, PhD, Dr. techn in numerical analysis from the Technical University of Denmark, and with his background as a recognised scientist and administrative manager from, among others, Brown University in the USA and EFPL, he brings valuable experience from international universities at the highest level. Over the years, Hesthaven has maintained a close contact to the Danish education and research policy remit as a member of several governmental bodies.

  • Agnete Raaschou-Nielsen, MSc in Economics from the University of Copenhagen, represents with her board record and management experience from blue-chip businesses such as Carlsberg and Aalborg Portland in particular financial insight and budget experience at top executive level, a key skill for the University’s Board. With her experience as a professional board member in for example Novozymes, Ms Raaschou-Nielsen will have a key role in the interaction and collaboration between day-to-day management and the Board.

The chair of the appointment body, Christian Grøndahl, is very pleased with the appointments:

- The composition of competencies in the whole board has been our main focus in the appointment body; from a strong field of applicants, we have chosen distinctive candidates who cover the breadth of the University’s diverse research and educational profile and who match the University's position in a Danish and an international perspective. 

- The new members are very strong profiles each in their field, and together they more than meet both the nomination body’s requirements and the regulatory requirements. Mikkel Bogh, Jan S. Hesthaven and Agnete Raaschou-Nielsen will complement the incumbent board in the very best way and together constitute a talented board that spans deep insights into research, research-based education, management, organisation and finances, skills which the Board of the University of Copenhagen must possess. They are a unique match for the Executive Management.

Mikkel Bogh, Jan S. Hesthaven and Agnete Raaschou-Nielsen will join the Board on 1 January 2020 for a four-year term.

Read more about
the University's Board

Read more about the University's strategic plan
‘Talent and collaboration – strategy 2023’.

Read more about
the University’s nomination and appointment bodies.