Aileen shall have the overall responsibility for the Institute’s academic as well as the administrative operations, focusing on the cross-border research and studies, transnational relations, Northern politics, and regional development.

aileen_espirituAileen graduated with her Doctoral degree from the University of Alberta in Alberta, Canada. She holds degrees in English Literature, Soviet Studies, and Russian Political History. Aileen began her professional academic career in 1995 at the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada holding a tenured Assistant Professorship for the last 7 of those years until 2009. Prior to accepting the position of Director, she held a position as Senior Researcher at The Barents Institute from 2007- 2010. Aileen brings significant experience and a proven track record of success in teaching, research, and administration, which will be invaluable in meeting the Institute’s goals and aspirations in the coming years.

We are confident that Aileen will be an excellent match for this position and a strong asset as leader of The Barents Institute. Aileen will be located in Kirkenes, at Rådhusgata 8, 3rd Floor, and can be reached at +47 78 97 70 78 or

Robert Hermansen, acting institute leader since spring 2009 is taking up his former position as member of the Board.
Svein Helge Orheim is continiuing as Administrative Manager.
For further information, please contact the Chair of the Board, Petter Nafstad, Tel + 47 77 64 61 97.