Staff and Leadership

Gina Torry, Executive Director

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Ms. Torry is an international peacebuilding expert specializing in United Nations Security related policy and initiatives – particularly related to gender issues, mediation and ceasefires. She has worked for over a decade with the United Nations, governments and regional organizations, as well as with women’s civil society groups and networks worldwide. Ms. Torry is the former Executive Director of the Peace Research Endowment (Peace Research Institute Oslo, North America). Prior to this, she worked for several years with the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (DPA) Policy and Mediation Division. In collaboration with international mediators and mediation experts, she finalized the DPA/United Nations “Guidance for Mediators on addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements”. Provisions of this guidance have now appeared in the last 3 UN brokered ceasefire agreements. Ms. Torry is the former Coordinator of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (2005-2008), and has authored several publications including “Financing Inclusive Peace and Security for Women in Nepal: From the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to the Nepal Peace Trust Fund” (2010, EC/UN). In 2007, Ms. Torry was invited in her capacity as Coordinator of the NGO Working Group to address the United Nations Security Council in an Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Comparative Literature and Political Science from the American University of Paris and an Masters of Science in Gender Studies from the London School of Economics.


Rachel C. Peterson, Program Manager

Ms. Peterson’s relationship to the Nobel Peace Prize Forum began in 2001, when she was a student at Luther College. Luther hosted the Forum that year and her experiences at that Forum and subsequent ones were so positive that she pursued a master’s degree in peace and conflict transformation studies from the Centre for Peace Studies at the University of Tromsø in Norway.

IMG_7959While at the Centre for Peace Studies, Ms. Peterson researched peace education in areas of experienced tranquility. She combined the theoretical work of the master’s degree with hands-on volunteer work for the international children’s rights organization Save the Children. After completing her degree, she worked as Regional Leader for Save the Children in the northern half of Norway for six years, focusing primarily on the rights of refugee and asylum-seeking children, child protection, and awareness raising about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Ms. Peterson has been a villager and staff member at Concordia Language Villages, was a high school exchange student in Norway, loves to travel, but also thoroughly enjoys being back in Minnesota.


Dr. Geir Lundestad, Director, Norwegian Nobel Institute, Secretary, Norwegian Nobel Committee

Geir Lundestad has been Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo and Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee since 1990. Born in 1945 in Sulitjelma, a mining community in Northern Norway, he received his MA (Cand. philol.) in history from the University of Oslo in 1970 and a PhD from the University of Tromsø¸ in 1976.

Lundestad held various positions at the University of Tromsø¸ from 1974 – 1990, including Associate Professor of History, Professor of American Civilization, and Professor of History. He has also been a research fellow at Harvard University (1978-79, 1983) and at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. (1988-89). Concurrent to his position as Director of the Nobel Institute, Lundestad is also Adjunct Professor of International History at the University of Oslo.

Lundestad is the author of many books and articles in English and Norwegian; covering a broad range of topics, including Norwegian history, the European community, the Cold War, and American foreign policy. He is a frequent commentator on Norwegian television and radio. Lundestad and his wife, Aase, live in Oslo and they have two grown children.