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New director

Sten Rynning to be the new director of the Danish Institute for Advanced Study

SDU’s rector, Jens Ringsmose, has appointed professor of political science Sten Rynning as the new director of the University of Southern Denmark’s interdisciplinary elite research centre, DIAS.

Sten Rynning is a professor of war studies and Chair at the Danish Institute for Advanced Studies. He founded the Center for War Studies at SDU in 2011 and was head until 2019, after which he for three years served as vice dean for research and interim dean at the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences. Sten Rynning notably researches into NATO, war, the transatlantic relationship and Europe’s continental order.

He is currently writing a book on the history of NATO for Yale University Press, due to be published in April 2024.

- It is with great pleasure that I have agreed to become the new director of DIAS. DIAS is a unique institution that reaches for the stars in terms of research excellence. It will be incredibly exciting to work strategically with this development for the benefit of DIAS and SDU researchers and their networks.

From the first of August 2023, he will assume leadership of one of the University of Southern Denmark’s biggest strategic initiatives, the Danish Institute for Advanced Study.

During the first semester of his term (autumn 2023), he will be co-director with the current director, Marianne Holmer, to make sure of a smooth transition.

The DIAS director reports directly to SDU’s rector Jens Ringsmose, who says:

- I am pleased and proud to present Sten Rynning as the new director of DIAS at SDU. He has precisely the skills and vision, both as a researcher and university manager, to run SDU’s beacon for excellent research and collaboration across disciplines. I am confident that with Sten at the helm, we will be able to expand and intensify DIAS’ initiatives and work further on promoting all of the University of Southern Denmark’s research output of international world class, says Jens Ringsmose and adds:

- At the same time, I would like to thank Marianne Holmer for her outstanding work with DIAS in recent years. Her work has been crucial to the development of DIAS, and I am grateful that she has directed such an important and strategic part of our organisation while also serving as Dean of the Faculty of Science, he says.

More time for DIAS

In his new position as director, Sten Rynning’s time will be divided so that half of his time will be allocated to managing DIAS and the other half will be used on research.

The current director, Marianne Holmer, supports the wish for the new director to have more time to run DIAS.

- I’m very proud of the work I’ve done at DIAS and the new initiatives I have launched. It has been a fantastic experience to collaborate with researchers from across the University and working with recruiting talented researchers to SDU as well as bridging the gap between the different disciplines.
At the same time, I have realised that being director while also being dean of the Faculty of Science does not provide DIAS with the attention it deserves. I am therefore pleased with both the choice of Sten Rynning and the new structure of the position, which allows more time for developing DIAS.

DIAS must be a voice in the debate about the fundamental conditions of basic research

Sten Rynning has travelled extensively for his academic work:

He has been a visiting researcher at the School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC (2017) and the NATO Defense College (NDC), Rome (2012). In 2019–2022 he was a non-resident associate fellow at NDC. He has lectured on NDC’s Senior Course and the Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassadors’ Course since 2012.

Sten Rynning served on the Norwegian Afghanistan Commission (2015–2016) and advised the commission of inquiry into the Danish decisions to enter the wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq (2017–2019) as well as contributing to Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen’s official foreign policy review (2015-2016). He is the former president of the Nordic International Studies Association (2011–2015) and currently serves on several boards of academic institutions and journals, including the Danish Institute for International Studies and the editorial boards of the European Journal of International Security, International Affairs, the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Journal of Transatlantic Studies and the Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies. In 2022, he was made Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog.

Of his future work at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study, Sten Rynning says:

- I look forward to creating an environment of immersion, collaboration and academic excellence. DIAS must create the framework for a new generation of excellent thinkers, and DIAS must be a voice in the debate about the fundamental conditions of basic research, says Sten Rynning.

About DIAS

The Danish Institute for Advanced Study is an interdisciplinary centre of excellent research at the University of Southern Denmark.

DIAS brings outstanding researchers together in an interdisciplinary centre for basic research and intellectual fora. We exist to encourage and support curiosity-driven research and thereby unlock new revolutionary ideas.

We aim to be a centre that gifted researchers strive to be a part of due to the creative, interdisciplinary co-operation, possibilities for the development of research and the growth of a national and international research network.

Redaktionen afsluttet: 07.06.2023