Home>Asgerdur, Director of Communications and Startegy at the Arctic Circle


Asgerdur, Director of Communications and Startegy at the Arctic Circle

Coming from Iceland Asgerdur Asgeirsdottir has graduated in the Master in International Public Management (now International Governance and Diplomacy). She is Director of Communications and Startegy at the Arctic Circle in Reykjavik, Iceland.  

>What is your role and main responsibilities? 

Arctic Circle is an international nonprofit organisation; the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. One of our main projects is the annual Arctic Circle Assembly held in Reykjavík with over 2500 participants from over 60 countries, with high-level participation from governments, corporations, organizations, universities, environmental associations, Indigenous communities and concerned citizens. Arctic Circle also organizes forums in other countries on matters of the Arctic, online events, podcast and publish journal articles.   

I handle communications with our partners and sponsors, for example the Icelandic Government and our yearly sponsors as well as various participants of Arctic Circle events from governments, businesses, embassies and institutions. One of the many tasks of mine are for ex. developing and executing the fundraising strategy of Arctic Circle, writing press releases and negotiating deals with partners and conference vendors.  

How did you secure this role? 

After graduation I worked at the Icelandic Prime Minister‘s Office at the Policy Coordination Department. It was just a temporary position and I needed to find something else but wanted to stay in Iceland during the pandemic. I never dreamed of being where I am now when I asked a friend of mine if he thought it would be OK to send his boss my CV. I was hired as a freelance consultant for two months, during that time Arctic Circle held the first international gathering on matters of the Arctic since the Covid-19 pandemic started, 1500 people showed up in Reykjavík. It was a huge success, and after that they hired me full time, first as a Communications Coordinator and then as a Director of Communications and Strategy!

What is the most fascinating and/or surprising aspect at your role?

The best part of my job is the team – we are always ready to help one another and work well together under pressure, we are honest about our capacity and not afraid to share ideas. 

I have the opportunity to go to remote places in the Arctic; last trip was to Tromsø in Norway and next stop is Nuuk in Greenland! 

It can be challenging to walk into a room full of public officials, CEOs and entrepreneurs and present to them our work and negotiate a fundraising, but it surprised me how quickly your comfort zone expands and with experience and practice it all becomes easier.

I am incredibly lucky to learn from the Chairman of Arctic Circle, H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (President of Iceland 1996-2016). My access to his advices and lifetime of experience in international relations is such a privilege to have when you are figuring out your first years in the sector.  

How did your PSIA experience help you with the role? 

Oh, it helped me so much, mostly it taught me that never be afraid to ask questions or ask for the chance or opportunity to learn something. The professors were always incredibly open to help, give out letters of recommendation and/or give me contact information. I was constantly looking out for seminars organized by PSIA Careers to learn more – they basically taught me to have fun with job hunting!

What advice would you give to others? 

I have read what other alumnus have answered this question, both when I was a student and now later,  and I completely agree with all of them that say: network, network, network. Networking, to me at least, is about making friends that have the same ambition or goals and are interested in learning from one and another,  whether they are entry-level or have been working in the field for 30 years.  Also – apply for that job you don’t think you are qualified for!

Virtual Graduate Open House day, October 2024

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