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Kjerkol smiling.

Ingvild Kjerkol

Minister of Health and Care Services

The Minister of Health and Care Services is responsible for government policy related to hospitals, municipal health care services, preventive measures, psychiatric health and drug addiction.

Ingvild Kjerkol became Minister of Health and Care Services on 14 October 2021.

Guldvog smiling.

Bjørn Guldvog

Director General of Health

Since 2012 Dr. Bjørn Guldvog PhD held the position as Director General of Health and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Norway.  The Directorate of Health is a professional agency under the Ministry of Health. 

Dr. Guldvog graduated from University of Oslo Faculty of Medicine in 1985. He received his PhD in 1993 with the thesis Evaluation of Epilepsy Surgery. 

Dr. Guldvog has experience with international and global health from WHO, the EU and the Nordic countries. Dr. Guldvog has a broad medical background to include experience in general practice, neurology, nursing home physician and internal medicine. 


Cathrine Marie Lofthus

General Secretary

Cathrine Marie Lofthus is Secretary General at the Ministry of Health and Care Services since June 2021. She is a medical doctor and holds a PhD in epidemiology and osteoporosis, and a bachelor's in administration, economics and leadership. Ms. Lofthus was CEO at South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authorities (Helse Sør-Øst) for almost 7 years. Helse Sør-Øst is the owner of all hospitals in the southern Norway wih approx. 80,000 employees and a yearly budget of 90 bn NOK. She has also been deputy CEO and Chief Medical Officer at Oslo University Hospital.

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Philippe Roux

Head of Unit DG Health and Food Safety, European Commission

Mr. Roux started his career in the French Social sector in 1985. During the same time, he studied social sciences, European law and Public Health. He worked with DG V (Employment and Social Affairs) from 1990 to 1998 in support of the development of the EU initiatives related to drug prevention. In September 1998, he joined the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction where he contributed to the development of the framework and tools for the evaluation of the EU action plans on drugs and was from 2002 deputy Head of Unit in the “Interventions, law and policy” Unit of the Agency. He joined SANTE Health Determinants Unit in 2005 to work with the Nutrition and Physical Activity team with responsibilities in the coordination of the Diet, Physical Activity and Health European Platform. In July 2013, he became Head of the Health Determinants Unit, since March 2016 Head of the Unit ‘Country Knowledge and Scientific Committees’, Head of Unit ‘Health Information and Integration in all policies’ in October 2020 and Head of Unit ‘Cancer, Health in all Policies’ since October 2022 with the mission to formulate policies and overall organisation of activities with the aim of achieving the objectives of the Europe’s beating cancer plan and to ensure the overall EU Health policy objectives taken on board in the EU policies. Acting Director ‘Public Health, Cancer and Health Security’ since 1/09/2023.


Pellegrino Riccardi

TED-talk speaker and author

Pellegrino Riccardi is an award-winning speaker and author who has spent the last 30 years travelling the globe helping people to communicate and interact more effectively with one another. Pellegrino's passion for exploring human behaviour have taken him to more than 80 countries, where he has worked with some of the world's best-known organizations. Pellegrino has 3 TED Talks under his belt. His “Cross Cultural Communication” talk in Bergen in Norway has clocked up over 1.7 million views and is used in many international business studies around the world.

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Franco Sassi

Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Innovation at Imperial College, London

Franco Sassi holds a Chair in International Health Policy and Economics and is the Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Innovation at Imperial College, London. His work has been aimed at assessing the impacts of public policies to tackle major chronic diseases and their predisposing risk factors, including poor nutrition, physical inactivity, alcohol and tobacco use, and a range of environmental and social exposures.

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Anniek de Ruijter

Professor in Health Law and Policy at the University of Amsterdam

Anniek de Ruijter LLM LLM PhD is a Professor in Health Law and Policy at the University of Amsterdam where she is founding Director of the Law Centre for Health and Life. The centre generates knowledge at the intersection of law, health, and the living environment.




Maja Bæksgaard Jørgensen

Head of section at the unit of Health Promotion and inequality, of the Danish Health Authority

Maja Bæksgaard Jørgensen is head of section at the unit of Health Promotion and inequality, of the Danish Health Authority. The unit Health Promotion and inequality handles tasks in public health and general prevention with health promotion iniatives, including alcohol, tobacco, physical activity, nutrition, sexual health, mental health, drugs, environmental medicine, inequality in health, pregnancy and maternity and healthcare.

Prior to this position, she worked as a senior researcher at the National Institute of Public Health in Denmark. She holds a PhD in epidemiology and a candidate in economics.


Raymond Tollefsen

Companion Wanderers

Raymond Tollefsen, 51 years of age. A former drug addict with 25 years of active substance abuse. Now clean for more than 10 years. Works in the field of addiction.

Raymond will talk about how to use nature as an arena for recovery and rehabilitation and how to build fellowships amongst peers in different communities in Norway.


Dr Kremlin Wickramasinghe

Dr Kremlin Wickramasinghe

WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen Denmark

Kremlin is the Regional Adviser for Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Special Initiative on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and Innovation, WHO Regional Office for Europe.

He was the Acting Head of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (“NCD Office”) until December 2023.

Prior to this position, he worked as a Technical Officer on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) Risk Factors, since 2017. Before joining WHO, he was a researcher and the co-director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Population Approaches to NCD Prevention at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. He has published numerous reports and peer-reviewed papers and co-edited the textbook “An Introduction to Population-level Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases,” published by the Oxford University Press. He has a special interest in multisectoral responses to health promotion, quantifying the outcome of health policies and implementation research. Kremlin graduated as a medical doctor with an MBBS from the University of Colombo. He holds an MSc in Global Health Science and a DPhil (PhD) in Public Health from the University of Oxford.

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Benedetta Armocida

Coordinator of the EU4Health Joint Action on Prevention of NCDs

Benedetta is a Public Health professional working as a Senior Researcher at the Department of Cardiovascular, Endocrine-metabolic Diseases and Aging, of the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS). Benedetta is the Coordinator of the EU4Health Joint Action on Prevention of NCDs – cardiovascular diseases and diabetes – JACARDI. Driven by the principle of leaving no one behind, Benedetta is firmly motivated to improve the global health agenda. She dedicates herself to advocating for better health for everyone, everywhere.

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Olena Nesterova

Head of the Scientific Research Department State Institution "Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine"

Olena Nesterova is an epidemiologist with a medical background, trained in public health, and experienced in different stages and roles in research. Olena currently holds the position of the Head of the Scientific Research Department at the State Institution "Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine" in Kyiv, Ukraine. The Scientific Research Department is responsible for planning and performing data collection to support public health programs in Ukraine, including the prevention of non-communicable diseases. Olena coordinates research components of the JA-Prevent-NCD and JACARDI projects and is also the Principal Investigator for the Health Literacy Survey in Ukraine.

Først publisert: 19.01.2024 Last revised date: 09.02.2024 See previous versions