Staff and Leadership

Bettine Hermanson, Interim Managing Director

Olav Njølstad, Director, Norwegian Nobel Institute, Secretary, Norwegian Nobel Committee


Olav Njølstad is a professor of western contemporary history at the University of Oslo. He has been a Norwegian Research Council fellow, a research fellow at Ohio University, a researcher and senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, and research director at the Norwegian Nobel Institute. In 2011 and 2012, he served as senior advisor in the 22 July Commission.

Mr. Njølstad has published a number of academic books and articles on topics such as the Cold War, the role of nuclear weapons in international politics, arms races and disarmament, the history of military and civilian technology, as well as the Second World War and Norwegian postwar history. Mr. Njølstad has authored two biographies, about Jens Chr. Hauge and professor Leif Tronstad, and he is now working on a biography of Gro Harlem Brundtland. He has also edited a book on Norwegian Nobel Prize laureates, from Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson to Finn Kydland, and published two thrillers with a historic slant.

Mr. Njølstad has a PhD in history. His 1994 doctoral thesis covered U.S. politics vis-à-vis the Soviet Union during the Carter presidency, with particular emphasis on human rights, the relationship to China, the strategic military balance, and regional conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. In 2010, Njølstad received the Sverre Steen award for excellence in the dissemination of history to the general public.