Ma-Mawi (Senior Leadership Team)

UArctic's day-to-day activities are overseen by the President and Vice-Presidents, who collectively form the Senior Leadership Team, known as Ma-Mawi. Watch video messages from the leadership.

Lars Kullerud
Has overall responsibility for UArctic's operations and oversees the senior administration.
Lars Kullerud has held the position of President of UArctic since May 2002. Throughout his UArctic Presidency, Lars has continued to foster an academic interest in the northern environment and development issues and published several academic papers on the issue in addition to representing UArctic. Before joining the UArctic team, he was the Polar Programme Manager for GRID-Arendal which serves as UNEP's (United Nations Environment Program) key polar centre. His academic background is in Precambrian Geology and Isotope Geochemistry, geostatistics, petroleum resource assessments, as well as assessments of the Arctic environment.
Outi Snellman
Oversees the UArctic organization, with primary responsibility for supporting UArctic's membership, governance and management structures, as well as internal and external communication. Head of UArctic International Secretariat.
Outi Snellman has worked in international education and the development of cooperation in higher education in the circumpolar region for over 25 years in her capacity as the Director of International Relations at the University of Lapland (1990-2022) and Secretary General for the Circumpolar Universities Association (1992-1998) as well as Vice-President Organization of the University of the Arctic.
Sheila Downer
Provides strategic leadership for UArctic’s economic development.
Sheila Downer has been a strong advocate for the development of rural and northern communities in Canada for more than 30 years. She has a strong background in regional development and her work has built strong connections with municipal, business, education, health, tourism, crafts, and regional development sectors. She has been the lead for major ICT initiatives, involving indigenous communities, private sector companies and governments. These partnerships resulted in the development of local knowledge, skills and effective tools to support the way people live, work and do business in northern communities.
Morgan Dulian
Leads international philanthropy program, strategy, and team for UArctic and oversees the UArctic Foundation (US), located in Fairbanks, Alaska USA.
Prior to joining UArctic in 2023 Morgan Dulian was the Director of Development for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Dulian holds a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and a Bachelors in Communication from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dulian earned her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential in 2021 and in 2022 was named one of Alaska's Top Forty under 40 by the Alaska Journal of Commerce. Since 2013 she has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska where she and her husband are raising their three children in a log home in the boreal forest.
Scott Forrest
Responsibility areas: Strategic coordination of UArctic's communications and information services, including member networking support, web development and content, online communication, social media, brand image and print publications.
Originally from British Columbia, Canada, Scott came as an exchange student to the University of Lapland from the University of Northern British Columbia in 1997. He has been involved since the beginning of UArctic's development at the International Secretariat. Scott's passions include travel, cooking, football, and leatherworking. He has a Master's degree in International Studies from UNBC, and has also worked at the University of Lapland's Arctic Centre as academic coordinator of the Arctic Studies Program.
Isabelle Guissard
Provides strategic leadership for all of UArctic's mobility related activities. Management and international coordination of the north2north mobility program, guidance to new north2north member institutions.
Isabelle Guissard has a PhD in Nordic Languages from Paris-Sorbonne University from 2009. She wrote her doctoral thesis about the language policy implemented in Finnmark between 1700 and 2000 and the impact it had on the Sámi people’s possibility to use their own language and show their own cultural identity. Her main research interest is about national and regional policies as tools to support the use of indigenous people’s languages. Isabelle has been working for UiT The Arctic University of Norway since 2011. She has been involved with both internationalization and research administration during the past 10 years. She was the north2north National Agency for Norway until 2019 when she took over the international coordination of north2north (ICO). She has been working together with former UArctic VP Mobility during the past 2 years until she took over the position as VP Mobility in January 2022.
Diane Hirshberg
Provides strategic leadership for all of UArctic's academic activities.
Diane Hirshberg is the Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research and Professor of Education Policy at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She also serves as Vice-President Academic for UArctic. In that role she is responsible for building academic cooperation across the UArctic network and also identifying ways in which educational needs in the north might be better served by UArctic institutions. Her research includes education policy analysis, indigenous education, circumpolar education issues, and the role of education in sustainable development in the Arctic. She has studied the boarding school experiences of Alaska Native students, teacher supply, demand, and turnover, including the cost of teacher turnover in Alaska. She co-edited the book Education, Equity and Inclusion: Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable North, published in 2023, which features her co-authored chapter “Adaptation isn’t just for the tundra: Rethinking teaching and learning in Alaska’s Arctic.” Her current work focuses on the role of education and knowledge sharing in self-determined sustainable development in remote villages and in supporting community efforts to build energy security and sustainability in northern and Indigenous communities. Dr. Hirshberg currently teaches in the Master of Public Policy Program at the UAA College of Business and Public Policy. She has a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA, a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University, and two bachelor’s degrees from UC Berkeley.
Kirsi Latola
Responsibility areas: Provides strategic leadership for UArctic's Thematic Networks and UArctic Institutes. Main contact point for UArctic Thematic Networks and Institutes from planning to proposal and establishment and operation of the network. Leads Thematic Networks Leadership Office's activities in their support and promotion of Thematic Networks in their activities. Promotes Thematic Networks and their activities to the wider public.
Over the past fifteen years PhD Kirsi Latola has worked in several Polar coordination actions and holds a positions of research coordinator at the Thule Institute at the University of Oulu. She has managed several national and international projects on Arctic research and coordination, knowledge sharing including organizing several international events. As UArctic Vice-President Networks she has managed the University of the Arctic (UArctic) Thematic Networks strategic area since 2005. In that position she represents and promotes UArctic in other Arctic organizations, including sitting in the steering committee of Fourth International Conference of Arctic Research Planning Process (ICARP IV). I addition to her work for UArctic and supporting the Arctic research conducted at the University of Oulu, she is acting as Transnational access Watch Dog in INTERACT - International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (H2020 2016-21, 2020-24) and leads a work package on stakeholder engagement in the EU-PolarNet 2 project on coordinating and co-designing the European Polar Research area (H2020, 2020-2024). Her expertise in the project is a stakeholder engagement which follows the work and white paper she completed during the first EU-Polarnet (2015-20)
Gunnar Stefansson is professor in industrial engineering at University of Iceland and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden as well as serving as a Vice President Research at the UArctic since July 2023. At University of Iceland, he serves as a director of the Engineering Research Institute overseeing the research activities of all the engineering facilities at University of Iceland, including masters, doctoral and post-doctoral research in addition to the project finance that the engineering faculty acquires domestically but also internationally, mainly from EU programme funding. Gunnar has an earlier career in the business sector serving several management positions and has a degree in mechanical engineering and computer science from University of Iceland. He received his Ph.D. in 2004 from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, based on his research that mainly involves transport management of the four major transport modes focusing on efficiency, digitalization, and means to reduce environmental impacts of transport operations. Research on transportation and logistics in the Arctic has been part of his research throughout the years looking into operations in rural areas as well as the north passages west and east. Gunnar has participated since 1998 in many domestic Swedish and Icelandic as well as EU financed projects and published his own research in variety of high impact journals as well as acting as a guest editor for several international journals throughout the years.
Gä̀gala-ƛ̓iƛ̓ətko (Nadia Joe), is a member of the Crow Clan from the Champagne & Aishihik First Nations. She has spent the past 14+ years working as an environmental professional and supporting Indigenous communities across Canada advancing their rights and interests in water security. Gä̀gala has dedicated her professional career to applying respectful and practical ways to protect Indigenous knowledges and heritage. As a child of the Yukon land claims movement, she was raised by a river and loved into leadership by the many elders, leaders, mentors of the nłe?kepmx and southern Tutchone-Tlingit peoples. She recently returned home to join Yukon University as their new Associate Vice-President, Reconciliation and UArctic as Vice-President, Indigenous.

Mimir (Academic Advisory Board)

Mimir is the UArctic Academic Advisory Board, which serves as a high-level strategic body for UArctic.

Indigenous Advisory Board

Indigenous Advisory Board provides strategic oversight and input with particular regards to issues of Indigenous representation, perspectives, and knowledge systems.