Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen
Born January 5, 1960 in Faurholt near Frederikshavn, Denmark; daughter of farmer Knud Jensen and wife Inga J. F. Poulsen, married to Managing Director Søren Nielsen.
Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen has been rector of Kolding School of Design since 2008. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Southern Denmark. She has worked as head of a cultural house, a teacher at University of Southern Denmark, and as a researcher at the Development Centre for Public information and Adult Education. From 1994-2007, she was a member of the Danish Parliament, and for a period of four years she was Danish Minister of Culture. Alongside her work as rector, she serves as a board member of The Center for Culture and Experience Economy, among others, and recently served as a member of the Design Vision2020 Committee established by the Danish government (read more here).
She has written several books and articles on culture, public awareness, and design.
Education and Selected Experience
Master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Southern Denmark 1986; Instructor at the University of Southern Denmark 1982-86, Teaching Assistant 1986-88; Research Assistant 1992; Rector of Kolding School of Design from 2008.
Project Manager at the cultural centre Bolbro Brugerhus 1986-88; Chief Clerk at the Social and Health Administration, Storstrøm County 1988-89; Test Consultant at the Development Centre for Public Information and Adult Education 1989-92.
Positions of Trust
Chairman of the Danish Brundtland Campaign 1989-92; Member of the Technology Council of the Danish Parliament 1991-94, Member of the Board of the Cultural Foundation 1992-94; Chairman of the “Green Foundation” of the Danish Ministry for the Environment 1994-97 and of the Committee for Ensuring Traditional Crafts from 1997; Ambassador for The Inclusive Society 2008; Member of the Danish Ethics Committee 2008-2011; Member of the Board of the Centre for Culture and Experience Economy 2009; Member of the Board of Have Communication 2009; Member of the Danish government’s DesignVision2020 Committee 2010; Chairman of the Danish Center for Culture and Development 2012; Member of the Advisory Board of Aalto University, Helsinki 2012.
Member of Parliament 1994-2007
Danish Minister of Culture 1998-2001.
Selected Literary Works
Author of: The AOF of the Future (1991); People and Museums (1992); Across Initiatives Funded by the Cultural FoundationCultural (1993). Co-author of: Sustainable Farming (1991); Live the Rural District? (1991); Environment and Development in BRUD (1994); Contributor to the anthology Do You Know a Child Who Has Lost? (2006).
Shared first prize in the feature competition ”Co-operative Society – the Way Forward” by the Co-operative Committee with the feature ”From Individualist Society to Co-operative Society” 1986; first prize for the prize paper ”Visions about the Health of Children and Youths” by the Danish Doctor’s Association 1988; among the winners of the DAFOLO prize subject “The Local Politician at the Centre” with the contribution “The Democracy of the Future – Local Community, Democracy and Elected by the People” 1989. Awarded “The Green Pin” (recognition by The Association of Danish Architects for extraordinary efforts within the field of ecology) 1995; The Children’s Book Author Cultural Award 1999; Frederikshavn Municipality Cultural Award 1999; Danish Language Teacher’s Cultural Award 2000; Vejle County Library Award 2001; Kolding Citizen of the Year Award 2012.