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SIPRI welcomes Ambassador Jan Eliasson as new Governing Board Chair

SIPRI welcomes Ambassador Jan Eliasson as new Governing Board Chairman
Ambassador Jan Eliasson will formally take up the position of Chair on 1 June 2017. Photo: SIPRI.

The Swedish Government today appointed Ambassador Jan Eliasson as the new Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board. Eliasson will formally take up his position on 1 June 2017. He succeeds Ambassador Sven-Olof Petersson in this position.

Watch a brief video interview with Jan Eliasson as part of SIPRI's Spotlight series, where he speaks on worrying global trends and the role SIPRI can play in contributing to peace [3:09].

Jan Eliasson is a well-known and highly respected Swedish diplomat who was Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations from July 2012 to December 2016 and Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2006.

Further milestones in his distinguished career include his position as President of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly in 2005–06; his appointment as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Darfur in 2007–08; his role as the first UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, 1992–94; and his participation, 1980–86, in the UN mission mediating in the Iran–Iraq War, which was headed by former Prime Minister Olof Palme of Sweden.

‘It is with great anticipation I am assuming this position with SIPRI. I have always had sincere respect for the Institute’s work and appreciation of its global reputation. I am certain that SIPRI will continue to play an important role in addressing different aspects of international peace and security,’ comments Jan Eliasson.

Welcoming the appointment, SIPRI Director Dan Smith says, ‘Jan Eliasson is a very accomplished diplomat with deep knowledge of the key issues of peace and security and highly relevant experience. He will bring outstanding international contacts and expertise to this position. I am very much looking forward to working with him as leader of our distinguished Governing Board.'

According to the SIPRI statutes, the Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board is appointed by the Swedish Government, based upon nominations from the SIPRI Governing Board, the SIPRI Research Staff Collegium and the SIPRI staff unions. The Chair can serve for no more than two consecutive five-year terms.

In addition to Sven-Olof Petersson, Eliasson’s predecessors as SIPRI Chair have been Göran Lennmarker, Rolf Ekéus, Daniel Tarchys, Inga Thorsson, Ernst Michanek, Rolf Björnerstedt, Karin Söder, Hans Blix, Rolf Edberg, Gunnar Myrdal and Alva Myrdal.

The current members of the SIPRI Governing Board are Dr Dewi Fortuna Anwar (Indonesia), Dr Vladimir Baranovsky (Russia), Espen Barth Eide (Norway), Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi (Algeria), Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger (Germany), Professor Mary Kaldor (United Kingdom), Dr Radha Kumar (India) and SIPRI Director Dan Smith (United Kingdom).


For information and interview requests contact Stephanie Blenckner (, +46 8 655 97 47).