I grew up in the strong cultural environment of a Danish “Folk Highshool” (a “peoples college”) where my parents were principals. At the University of Copenhagen I began in 1964 to follow courses in history, philosophy, latin and economics. In 1972 I graduated in social sciences and three years later in political science. In the turbulent years of “upheaval and students protest” I was a member of the Student Council of the university and became its president in the years 1967-68.
In 1969 I became assistant lecturer in international politics at the >> Institute of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, in 1972 lecturer and four years later reader. Realising that it was a bit narrow-minded to teach and conduct research in the social sciences without ever having been outside the educational institutions, I left the university in 1977 to become a principal in the >> Ministry of Environment. Four years later I moved to the >> Ministry of Finance in a period, where there was a special focus on modernising the Danish public sector.
I left the “Whitehall of Denmark” in 1981 to become financial director at the >> Danish National Museum of History. For five exciting years I participated in the rebuilding of the museum, in the changing of its management regime and in the work of “opening it up” to the outside world. In 1991 I became managing director of the >> Danish National University Hospital and was responsible for the organizational restructuring of the hospital in the following three years.
Next in the row of strong national public institutions in Denmark, at which I have served, was the >> Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR). I joined DR as Director General in 1994 at a time when DR and other public broadcasters in Europe were on their heels confronted with the fierce competition from fast growing private media corporations. The ten year period as head of a public service broadcaster were exciting years working together with some of the most professional and dedicated people I have ever met. This counts for both the staff I have fought with (and against) in DR and my colleagues in the Nordic public broadcasters as well as the many fine people I have met in the >> European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and amongst its members all over Europe. From 1997 to 2001 I was member of the EBU Administrative Council and in the period 1999-2003 I chaired the EBU “Digital Strategy Group” analyzing the perspectives for broadcasting in the coming years of digitization and laying out strategic goals and routes for the European public service broadcasters. That work has been followed up with a number of books and articles on media and my participation as a speaker in numerous international conferences and seminars on broadcasting all over the world.
As can be seen at my list of >> publications , I have since my first years in academia been writing about international politics, the international oil- and energy sector, public administration, management and the world of media. After leaving DR in 2004, I have combined my advisory work and membership at a number of boards with that of analyzing and writing, with an operational base at Copenhagen Business School as adjunct professor.