The Council

The Council of RIKO is the upper body of RIKO, consisting of a number of Danish experts on conflict related topics. It is an expert panel consisting of academics and practitioners dealing with a wide range of disciplines, and all supporting the values and ambitions comprising RIKO. The Council has two mandatory meetings annually, on which contemporary international conflicts are discussed.


In addition, the meetings comprise of reports from the Board and presentations from invited guests. The Council is elected every spring (the first time was in 2012) and is the foundation for the work of the Board. The Council is self supplying with a maximum number of members.


The Council of RIKO consists from January 2019 of the following members:

Ahlam Chemlali, Program Manager, Dignity – Danish Institute Against Torture

Annette Stubkjær, Chair of the Council, RIKO. Political Advisor, Amnesty International. Master of Social Sciences in International Security and Law, and holds a BSc in Peace and Conflict Studies, Malmö University.

Birgitte Rahbek, Mediator, North Zealand Police Department; specialist in the Middle East; PhD in Pedagogy; MA in Cultural Sociology; has also obtained psychotherapeutic and mediation training.

Clemens Stubbe Østergård, Associate Professor Emeritus in International Politics, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University. Specialist in East Asia, especially Chinese Foreign- and Security Policy. Senior Research Follow, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.

Dino Knudsen, MA in History (2008), PhD (2013) thesis on The Trilateral Commission and Transnational Diplomacy in the 1970s, postdoc, Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen.

Erling Dessau, Former Senior Advisor to the Rector of the University of Peace (UPEACE and to the Director-General of UNESCO; Head of UNDP country missions in Afghanistan, Somalia, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Turkey. 

Gunnar Olesen, Senior Advisor, MSc in Political Science and co-founder of RIKO.

Isabel Bramsen, Master in Peace and Conflict Studies, PhD-student, Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC).

Jens Jørgen Nielsen, MA in History, History of Ideas and Journalism. Instructor in conflict resolution, communication and intercultural competencies.

Julie Wetterslev, Master in International Development, PhD-student in International Law, European University Institute. Has worked in Latin America with the peace process in Columbia, the US-Cuba relations and territorial and natural resources conflicts.

Jørn Boye Nielsen, Vice Chairman of the Council, RIKO. Former folk high school teacher, International People’s College. MA in Political Science, co-founder of RIKO and member of the Board.

Karsten Møller, Retired senior analyst at DIIS specializing in Russia and Danish security policy; former Head of the Defense Academy; former Defence Attaché at the Danish Embassy in Russia and former Head of Defence Research Service.

Katarina Ammitzbøl, Master’s degree from RU in i.a. international development; holds a degree from Warwick University in International Law; member of the Nordic Women’s Broker Network; former project manager Peace Nexus Foundation.

Kirsten Bruun (representing Action Aid Denmark, collective member), Teacher, Flakkebjerg Efterskole; member of the Board, Action Aid Denmark and also member of “Efterskoleforeningens internationale udvalg”.

Kofi Dakinah, MSc in International Security and Law. Member of the Board in RIKO.

Kristian Dalsgård Svendsen, MSc in Sociology, Roskilde University. Analyst and theorist with a focus on globalisation, conflicts and power in international relations. Project Coordinator, Human Rights in Action. Member of the Board in RIKO.

Kristoffer Nilaus Tarp, Previously affiliated with The Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS), has published a large number of reports and articles on peace and security issues and is often used as a commentator in and of various media especially in relation to UN issues. Has worked directly with conflict and conflict dynamics, among other things, Afghanistan, Liberia, Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, and Syria.

Lars Ehrenvärld, Major and employed at the Department of Strategy at the Defense Academy. Primary research areas are special operations and strategy.

Lars Erslev Andersen, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute of International Studies. Expert in terrorism and radicalisation focusing on the Middle East.

Leila Stockmarr, PhD-student at Roskilde University focusing on Palestine. Debater in the media on Palestinian and Middle Eastern relations.

Maria Stage, Chair of the Board, RIKO. Research Assistant, Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC), University of Copenhagen. MSc in Political Science with specialisation in peacebuilding and the UN. Maria has a professional certificate in UN studies from Columbia University.

Merete Koefoed-Johnsen, MA in Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University. Merete has lived in Egypt and Turkey for many years.

Mie Marcussen, Mediator, Marcussen & Co.

Niels Hahn, PhD, SOAS, University of London. Researcher in neoliberalism, military interventions and China-Africa-U.S. relations.

Poul Villaume, Dr.Phil., Professor in Contemporary History, University of Copenhagen; author to numerous works on history. Co-founder and member of the Board in RIKO.

Rasmus Nørlem Sørensen, MA in Philosophy and Social Science. Head of Secretariat and Senior Analyst, The Democracy in Europe Organisation (DEO), which provides a platform for debates on EU. Expert in European politics, power relations and decision making processes in the EU, trade agreements and the EU Neighbourhood policy.

Sara Dybris McQuaid, Associate Professor in British and Irish History, Society and Culture at Aarhus University; is a core Research Partner at the Center for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC).

Solveig Svendsen, BA. in Peace and Conflict Studies from Malmö University, Street Director and Head of Youth Rehabilitation Project for Youth Red Cross in Malawi.

Søren Riishøj, Associate Professor Emeritus with a specialization in Eastern Europe, University of Southern Denmark. Specific focus on Central- and Eastern Europe, EU security policy and Russia/Ukraine. A former Member of Parliament, Socialist People’s Party. 

Thorkild Høyer, Lawyer. Chair of the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims. Has acted as a mediator on numerous occasions.

Trine Pertou Mach, Blogger and former Chair of Action Aid Denmark.

Tue Magnussen, MA in History; MA in Geography and International Development; worked at the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims, 1999-2011.

Vibeke Vindeløv, Dr. Jur. (thesis on mediation), Professor in mediation, the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen.


Action Aid Denmark: Collective membership represented by Kirsten Bruun.

The Danish Centre for Conflict Resolution: collective member represented by Palle Bendsen. Specific focus on climate conflicts.

The Danish United Nations Association: Collective membership

Nordic Mediators: Collective member represented by Mie Marcussen, MSc in Business Administration and Commercial Law, MA in Mediation, University of Copenhagen. Head of the Conflict Navigator Training, Marcussen & Company.


The members of the Council of RIKO contributes voluntarily and unpaid and do not represent RIKO in their official workplace or in other organisations (with exception of the collective members of the Council).