Knut Olav Åmås (46) has been named executive director of the Fritt Ord Foundation, succeeding Erik Rudeng, who will be retiring. Åmås will assume his new duties in the autumn.
For the past eight months, Åmås has been state secretary at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Prior to that, he served as editor for Culture, Debate and Research at the national daily newspaper Aftenposten. Åmås also has experience of several other newspapers, in addition to being editor of the journal Samtiden and publishing editor at the Scandinavian University Press.
The incoming executive director has earned a graduate degree (cand. philol.) in Philosophy and a doctorate (dr. philos.) in Media Studies. He has written, edited or translated 16 books. Åmås makes the following observation about his new position:
"The position of executive director of the Fritt Ord Foundation is one of the most seminal, most exciting positions in Norwegian society. It offers unique opportunities to fuel critical, knowledge-based social debate in Norway."
"The Fritt Ord Foundation's free, independent and critical position affords very special opportunities to support the projects that produce new knowledge about what really shapes us. I am looking forward to participating actively in the public debate, and I hope to help make the Fritt Ord Foundation's activities even more constructive and fruitful, placing even greater emphasis on communication and accessibility", states Åmås.
Chair of the Fritt Ord Foundation Board Georg Fr. Rieber-Mohn reports that he and the other Board members are very pleased that Åmås will be the one to succeed a man as capable as Erik Rudeng.
"Åmås will continue to develop the Fritt Ord Foundation's visibility and efforts to promote freedom of expression and to contribute to informed, enlightened public debate", comments Rieber-Mohn.