Dr Ragnhildur Helgadóttir the new President of Reykjavik University


The board of Reykjavík University has appointed Dr Ragnhildur Helgadóttir, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Professor at the Department of Law, President of Reykjavik University. Dr Helgadóttir takes over the position from Dr Ari Kristinn Jónsson, who has been RU's President for the past eleven years.

Dr Helgadóttir has extensive experience in university management and has for many years been one of the leading scientists at Reykjavík University. Since 2019, she has held the position of Dean of the School of Social Sciences, which includes the Department of Business Administration, the Department of Law, the Department of Psychology and the Department of Sport Science.

She has been a part of Reykjavik University since 2002, been a professor at the Department of Law from 2006 and was Department Chair from 2014 to 2019. She is Chair of the Science Board of the Science and Technology Policy Council, she was member of Iceland's negotiating committee with the EU and has been ad hoc chair of the Committee of Judicial Functions. She has served as an ad hoc judge at the District Court, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. She has taught at the University of Ottawa and Université de Montréal in Canada, Université Pantheon Assas (Paris II) in Paris and the Toulouse Capitole in Toulouse.

Born in 1972, Dr Helgadóttir graduated with a doctorate from the University of Virginia in 2004, an LL.M. degree from the same University in 1999 and a law degree from the University of Iceland in 1997.

According to Dr Helgadóttir, there are exciting challenges ahead, and she is proud to accept the role of President at Reykjavik University: 

The University is strong with outstanding staff and students. In the past few semesters, we have had to focus on offering students the best possible learning experience in a difficult situation and on keeping research activity going. My first objective is to ensure that the University's activities become as normal as possible again, that we are able to return to our usual emphasis on international connections in studies and research, community relations and innovation, as we are used to. The University is in a strong position and it will be exciting to ensure that the good work can continue and that RU continues to develop in step with rapid changes in society.

Dr Jónsson, the outgoing President, says that it has been very rewarding to lead a great group of staff in the development of RU over the past eleven years, sometimes in challenging times, and see it grow and prosper and become one of the leading research universities in the world. 

At the same time, the scope and quality of the studies has grown steadily, and the University has achieved good financial stability. Now other exciting projects are calling, but I will continue to maintain a good relationship with the University.