Dr. Torild Skard

Torild Skard is a Norwegian psychologist and researcher, feminist, politician for the Socialist Left Party, civil servant and former high-ranking United Nations official (UNESCO, UNICEF). 

She served as a Member of the Norwegian Parliament, was Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and the first woman President of the Upper Chamber from 1973 to 1977. She was the first Director for Questions relating to the Status of Women in UNESCO Paris 1984-86, Chair of the UNICEF Executive Board 1988-1989 and the first woman UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa in Abidjan 1994-1998. She was the first woman Director-General and Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for development assistance and multilateral cooperation. In 2003 she became Senior Researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and from 2006 to 2014 she was President of the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights.

She has written several books, including Continent of Mothers, Continent of Hope (2003) on African development, and Women of Power (2014) on female heads of state or government worldwide.