Short summary: I ́ve been in management positions in agriculture, consulting and media over the last two decades. Through that I´ve gained great experience in public speaking, strategy, marketing, public relations and management. Food and food policy has been the cornerstone of these jobs over the last few . I´ve also got a master’s degree in Public Management and in Food culture, Communication and Marketing, as well as comprehensive experience in writing books, articles and TV manuscripts, both in English and Icelandic.
2020 – present: Lecturer on Social Media Marketing at the University of Gastronomic Science in Italy.
The course explains to students how to use Social Media as a effective marketing tool within the food sector.
2019 – present: Food Marketing Consultant and CEO at European Food Marketing.
The job involves consulting small and medium food and sustainable agricultural companies on funding, PR and marketing as well as consulting on documentaries and other media production. Please take look at the website www.europeanfoodmarketing.com.
From 2015 – 2019: Manager of Icelandic Lamb and the Icelandic Lamb Marketing Board.
The job involved managing the office employees and overseeing all marketing of Icelandic lamb products to international tourists in Iceland, as well as some export programs in Japan, USA, Germany and other countries. This includes cooperation with around 150 partnering restaurants and around 50 food processors, abattoirs, governmental agencies, farmers associations and other food industry personal. For further information, please take a look at Icelandic Lamb websites: www.icelandiclamb.is, www.icelandiclamb.jp, https://www.facebook.com/icelandiclamb.
2013 – 2015: Manager of Icelandic Food and Food Culture Inc.
The company did consulting work for farmers, restaurants and food entrepreneurs and produced books and TV shows about Icelandic food and food culture. Consulting and cooperating among others with the Icelandic Chefs Association, World Food Travel Association, Condé Nast International, Phaidon Press Limited and the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation.
2002 – 2013: Daily news manager, TV and Radio journalist at The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV).
One book and numerous articles on food, food culture, farming and food policy in Icelandic magazines and newspapers to be seen here: www.svavar.info/articles/. Also an 8 episode TV series about food to be seen here: www.svavar.info/tv/. Author of countless memos and report in Icelandic and English.
Education and academic work:
2019: Master in Food culture, Communication and Marketing at the University of Gastronomic Science in Italy.
Very rigid and demanding 90 ECTS unit master’s program. Thesis: The mythical Viking sheep breeds: Marketing heritage tradition in the age of social media.
2011: Edward R. Murrow Program for International Journalists in the USA.
A comprehensive month-long graduate training course, with emphasis on the changing media environment, media industry and the potential and challenges of the Internet in media.
2009-2010: International media research.
The research was done in collaboration of domestic and U.S. Universities, funds and scholars (Institute of Political and Administrative Studies at the University of Iceland, University of Iceland’s Social Sciences Institute, K. Amber Curtis and Joseph Jupille of the University of Colorado, David Leblang of the University of Virginia, the National Science Foundation and the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence).
2006: Master in Public Management (MPA) from the University of Iceland.
120 ECTS units. Emphasis on policy making. Thesis: Media, Pluralism and Public Administration. Case study of the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV).
2004: BA in Political Science from the University of Iceland.
180 ECTS units. Thesis on Regulations and Industrial Policy in Iceland after 1991.
In addition, a number of short courses in marketing, the use of social media in marketing, public relations, journalism, food policy and various other interesting topics related to management and marketing in the food industry. Also a professional captain license for small fishing boats.
Social and committee work:
- Board member of Slow Food Reykjavik from 2019.
- Member of Slow Food Terra Madre Nordic Steering commitee from 2019.
- Various confidential positions and committees for Icelandic farmers from 2015.
- Member of the World Food Travel Association from 2013.
- Edward R. Murrow alumnus from 2011.
- Associate of the European Political Science Association (EPSA) from 2010.
- Chairman of the Icelandic Association of Political Scientists 2009 to 2012.
- Deputy Chairman of the Icelandic Association of Radio and TV Reporters 2007 to 2011.
- Board member of the Icelandic Journalist Union from 2007 to 2010.
- Board member of the Icelandic Association of Public Administration Professionals 2007 to 2010.
- Various confidential positions for the Icelandic Independence party from 1990 to the present.
- Extensive experience of other social work, seminars and public speaking.
Language and Foreign Relations:
- In addition to Icelandic, I am a fluent English speaker and have written a masters thesis and lectured in English on Icelandic food and agriculture, the Icelandic economic crisis and the status of journalism and the media.
- I have been a representative of Iceland in the OSCE election surveillance and attended conferences organized by international organizations of political scientists (EPSA and ECPR), international journalists and World Food Travel Association.
- In my former job as a manager of Icelandic lamb I’ve also been in close contact with foreign buyers and suppliers, attended exhibitions and conferences abroad.