IMAGINE Leaders – Birna Thorarinsdottir
National Committee for UNICEF Iceland, Executive Director
I‘m the Executive Director of UNICEF Iceland and manage a workplace of approximately 20 people. I have taken bold decisions to change the workplace since I took the reins in May 2020. We work according to a Strategy that has only three goals: ambitious fundraising, to have influence in Iceland (for the rights of children) and be a strong and cohesive team. I have held various positions before and usually in a leadership position for a cause I believe in. These include, in reverse order: Secretary General of a newly established liberal, pro-European political party (Viðreisn), Executive Director for the EU Info Office in Iceland, Project Manager and Head of Office for UNIFEM (now UN Women) in Serbia and Montenegro, (the first) Executive Director for the National Committee for UNIFEM in Iceland. I hold degrees in Political Science (University of Iceland), MA in Security Studies (Georgetown University) and an MBA (Reykjavík University). I‘m 43 years old and happily married with three young children (aged 4, 7 and 9). After getting a nervous breakdown that took away my ability to work long days, I have learned the importance of doing less to do more – and I have no time for nonsense.