Geir Hønneland is the Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. He carries the overall responsibility for the organization’s work.
Hønneland joined the NHC in January 2021. He has extensive experience from research, both as a researcher himself and as a manager. Over a period of 15 years, he served as Research Director, Assistant Director and Director at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI). He has experience from a number of other academic institutions, including the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and has been member of programme boards and led strategy committees at the Research Council of Norway.
As a researcher, Hønneland has held a particular focus on Russian politics and international politics in the Arctic region. He is the author of several books which have been translated to Russian, Chinese and other languages. He has completed the Russian course at Norwegian Armed Forces and used to work as an interpreter (although he admits that his Russian is not what it once was).
From 2018 to 2021 Hønneland led Norway’s largest writers’ association, the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Association (NFFO) and has also held other posts in Norwegian publishing industry.
– At the Norwegian Helsinki Committee I get to use my managerial experience from research and organizational life, as well as my professional background from the post-Soviet space. But first and foremost, I get to be part of a team which, in cooperation with foreign partners, are achiving concrete results in the struggle for democracy and respect for human rights.