The UArctic International Secretariat is the main coordination and contact point for the University of the Arctic. The Secretariat supports the governance and management bodies of UArctic, and the organization's information services. It is hosted by the University of Lapland and led by the UArctic Secretary General. email:


Outi Snellman
Outi Snellman - Secretary General University of Lapland
Oversees the UArctic organization, with primary responsibility for supporting UArctic's membership, governance and management structures, as well as internal and external communication. Head of UArctic International Secretariat.
Outi Snellman has worked in international education and the development of cooperation in higher education in the circumpolar region for over 25 years in her capacity as the Director of International Relations at the University of Lapland (1990-2022) and Secretary General for the Circumpolar Universities Association (1992-1998) as well as Vice-President Organization of the University of the Arctic.
Scott Forrest
Scott Forrest - Chief Communications Officer University of Lapland
Responsibility areas: Strategic coordination of UArctic's communications and information services, including member networking support, web development and content, online communication, social media, brand image and print publications.
Originally from British Columbia, Canada, Scott came as an exchange student to the University of Lapland from the University of Northern British Columbia in 1997. He has been involved since the beginning of UArctic's development at the International Secretariat. Scott's passions include travel, cooking, football, and leatherworking. He has a Master's degree in International Studies from UNBC, and has also worked at the University of Lapland's Arctic Centre as academic coordinator of the Arctic Studies Program.
Janette Peltokorpi
Janette Peltokorpi - Director of Governance and Finance Support University of Lapland
Responsibility areas: UArctic governance processes, including administrative support for the Governance bodies of UArctic, legal and financial registrations and reporting, and overseeing the membership fee process.
Janette started her UArctic career in spring 2018 as an intern at the UArctic International Secretariat, and continued as project manager at the UArctic Thematic Network Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity. After three years, she returned to the Secretariat in a new role. She holds a Master's degree in Social Sciences, including studies on management and Russian language and culture, and Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She spends her free time knitting, taking care of her balcony garden and going for forest walks in the beautiful Arctic nature.
Pirkko Pulkkanen
Pirkko Pulkkanen - Manager of International Projects University of Lapland
Responsibility areas: Coordination of UArctic international projects, especially focusing on mobility and planning support for UArctic meetings.
Prior to her work at the UArctic International Secretariat, Pirkko worked as a coordinator of the Arctic Studies Program at the University of Lapland and as a project planner at the Santasport Institute. She holds a Master’s degree in Sport Science from the University of Jyväskylä (major in Sport Sociology) and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico with concentration on Communications, Sociology and Professional Physical Education. Pirkko loves the Arctic nature especially in winter. Every occasion she gets is spent outdoors and on weekend escapes: biking, hiking, rafting, skiing or running in the wilderness.
Hannele Palviainen
Hannele Palviainen - Fundraising Communications Coordinator University of Lapland
Responsibility areas: coordination and development of UArctic fundraising communications; Managing Editor of UArctic's annual Shared Voices Magazine.
After graduating in late 2012, Hannele moved from Central Finland to Lapland to start her UArctic career as an intern and has been working in UArctic communications ever since. With a Master’s degree in English, she also acts as the unofficial grammar police of the Secretariat. On her free time, she explores the world through books and challenges herself in aerial silk classes and on bouldering walls.
Natalia Nikolaeva
Natalia Nikolaeva - Member Engagement Coordinator University of Lapland
Responsibility areas: Maintaining and updating member profiles and Study Catalogue; Developing member engagement and communications tools; Managing UArctic social media and news; Creating promotional content.
After graduating from the Saint Petersburg State University with a Bachelor's degree in linguistics, Natalia moved to Finland in 2016 to pursue a Master's degree in Media Education with the University of Lapland. Before joining the UArctic team, she worked as a media marketing manager and a news reporter while occasionally collaborating with the University of Lapland for marketing projects. In her free time, Natalia enjoys cooking, watching the Criterion Collection movies, and working on her PhD dissertation.

The UArctic Thematic Networks Leadership Office is the main contact point for all matters related to Thematic Networks and Institutes . This includes the establishment of new Thematic Networks,  facilitating and promoting networks, and supporting their activity reporting. It is hosted by Thule Institute at the University of Oulu. Email

Kirsi Latola
Kirsi Latola - Vice-President Networks University of Oulu
Responsibility areas: Provides strategic leadership for UArctic's Thematic Networks and UArctic Institutes. Main contact point for UArctic Thematic Networks and Institutes from planning to proposal and establishment and operation of the network. Leads Thematic Networks Leadership Office's activities in their support and promotion of Thematic Networks in their activities. Promotes Thematic Networks and their activities to the wider public.
Over the past fifteen years PhD Kirsi Latola has worked in several Polar coordination actions and holds a positions of research coordinator at the Thule Institute at the University of Oulu. She has managed several national and international projects on Arctic research and coordination, knowledge sharing including organizing several international events. As UArctic Vice-President Networks she has managed the University of the Arctic (UArctic) Thematic Networks strategic area since 2005. In that position she represents and promotes UArctic in other Arctic organizations, including sitting in the steering committee of Fourth International Conference of Arctic Research Planning Process (ICARP IV). I addition to her work for UArctic and supporting the Arctic research conducted at the University of Oulu, she is acting as Transnational access Watch Dog in INTERACT - International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (H2020 2016-21, 2020-24) and leads a work package on stakeholder engagement in the EU-PolarNet 2 project on coordinating and co-designing the European Polar Research area (H2020, 2020-2024). Her expertise in the project is a stakeholder engagement which follows the work and white paper she completed during the first EU-Polarnet (2015-20)
Heli Niittynen
Heli Niittynen - University of Oulu
Responsibility areas: Thematic Networks and Institutes annual reporting and webpages administration; support, promotion and information services related to UArctic Thematic Networks Leadership Office activities.
Anastasia Emelyanova
Anastasia Emelyanova - Postdoctoral Researcher University of Oulu
Responsibility areas: UArctic Research Infrastructure Catalogue, Thematic Networks and other UArctic webpages administration, promotion and information services related to UArctic Thematic Networks Leadership Office.

The UArctic Academic Office is responsible for questions related to Education and Academic affairs in UArctic. It is hosted by University of Alaska Anchorage and led by the UArctic Vice-President Academic. Email:


Diane Hirshberg
Diane Hirshberg - Vice-President Academic University of Alaska Anchorage
Provides strategic leadership for all of UArctic's academic activities.
Diane Hirshberg is Professor of Education Policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage. She also serves as Associate Vice President Academic for UArctic, and sits on the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. Board and the International Arctic Social Sciences Association Council. Her research interests include education policy analysis, indigenous education, circumpolar education issues, and the role of education in sustainable development. She has studied the boarding school experiences of Alaska Native students, teacher supply, demand and turnover, including the cost of teacher turnover in Alaska, co-authored the Education chapter for the Arctic Human Development Report II, and co-edited “Including the North: A Comparative Study of the Policies on Inclusion and Equity in the Circumpolar North.” Dr. Hirshberg currently teaches in the Master of Public Policy Program in the UAA College of Business and Public Policy. She has a PhD in Education from UCLA, a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and two bachelor’s degrees from UC Berkeley.

The International north2north Coordination Office is the management office of the UArctic Mobility Program north2north. It reports on the progress of the program, allocates tuition waivers when available, performs evaluations, arranges meetings in cooperation with the UArctic VP Mobility, and helps to build network between the north2north Institutions, the National Agencies (NA) and the Northern Coordinating Office in Canada. The International north2north Coordination Office is presently located at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Campus Alta. Email:

Isabelle Guissard
Isabelle Guissard - Vice-President Mobility UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Provides strategic leadership for all of UArctic's mobility related activities. Management and international coordination of the north2north mobility program, guidance to new north2north member institutions.
Isabelle Guissard has a PhD in Nordic Languages from Paris-Sorbonne University from 2009. She wrote her doctoral thesis about the language policy implemented in Finnmark between 1700 and 2000 and the impact it had on the Sámi people’s possibility to use their own language and show their own cultural identity. Her main research interest is about national and regional policies as tools to support the use of indigenous people’s languages. Isabelle has been working for UiT The Arctic University of Norway since 2011. She has been involved with both internationalization and research administration during the past 10 years. She was the north2north National Agency for Norway until 2019 when she took over the international coordination of north2north (ICO). She has been working together with former UArctic VP Mobility during the past 2 years until she took over the position as VP Mobility in January 2022.

Lars Kullerud
Lars Kullerud - President GRID-Arendal
Has overall responsibility for UArctic's operations and oversees the senior administration.
Lars Kullerud has held the position of President of UArctic since May 2002. Throughout his UArctic Presidency, Lars has continued to foster an academic interest in the northern environment and development issues and published several academic papers on the issue in addition to representing UArctic. Before joining the UArctic team, he was the Polar Programme Manager for GRID-Arendal which serves as UNEP's (United Nations Environment Program) key polar centre. His academic background is in Precambrian Geology and Isotope Geochemistry, geostatistics, petroleum resource assessments, as well as assessments of the Arctic environment.
Oda Mulelid
Oda Mulelid - Assistant to the President GRID-Arendal
Provide support to the President, including helping with organising and keeping track of important tasks, events and updates.
Originally from Svelgen, Western Norway but now living in Arendal where she works as a research assistant at GRID-Arendal’s Polar and Climate program. She hold a bachelor’s degree in geology and geohazards from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and a MSc in climate change from the University of Copenhagen, with a specialization in the combined natural- and social science aspects of climate change.

Eyjólfur Eyfells
Eyjólfur Eyfells - Philanthropy Manager University of Iceland
Responsibility areas: Provide planning and organisation for philanthropic and non-profit fundraising activities and programs.
For the past four years, Eyjólfur has been working as a Project Manager for Mountaineers of Iceland. With its base at Langjokull Glacier, Eyjólfur is no stranger to Arctic conditions. As a Project Manager in the Sales Department, Eyjólfur worked to convince foreign groups to travel to Iceland and coordinated their activities in the country. He is excited about shifting his focus to UArctic fundraising. Eyjólfur has an MA Degree in International Affairs and a Master's Degree in Project Management.