Governance at DIS

DIS – Study Abroad in Scandinavia

DIS is a Danish non-profit educational foundation governed by an external Board of Directors working closely with an Executive Director. The DIS Board of Directors appoints the Executive Director. The Executive Director establishes and leads the Executive team, which is the leadership group for the organization.

Board of Directors

The DIS Board consists of eight members. DIS is recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education & Science which appoints one member to the Board. Five members are selected by the Board appointed nomination committee which selects members based on the following qualifications: Experience with business administration, knowledge of U.S. higher education, and knowledge of Danish higher education. In addition, two members are appointed by the DIS staff and faculty (one member each). The Board is committed to diversity and supports the election and appointment of diverse candidates to the Board.

The DIS Board of Directors consists of:

  • Leif Beck Fallesen, Chairman
    Business and Economic Commentator for TV2 News, Former Editor-in-Chief and CEO Børsen, the Danish Business Daily
    First Election Date: April 2014
    Last Re-election Date: April 2017
    End of Current Period: April 2021
  • Ian Samuel Terkildsen, Vice Chairman and Staff Representative
    Assistant Director, Study Tours and Faculty-Led Programs, DIS
    Latest Re-election Date: April 2014
    Last Re-election Date: April 2015
    End of Current Period: April 2019
  • Anna Mee Allerslev Tarp
    Mayor of Employment and Integration at City of Copenhagen
    First Election Date: April 2014
    Last Re-election Date: April 2016
    End of Current Period: April 2020
  • Anne Brandt Christensen, Faculty Representative
    Full-time DIS faculty and lawyer
    First Election Date: April 2014
    Latest Re-election Date: May 2015
    End of Current Period: April 2019
  • Anne-Marie Skov
    Director, the Tuborg Foundation and the Carlsberg Bequest
    First Election Date: April 2014
    Latest Re-election Date: April 2017
    End of Current Period: April 2021
  • Anni Søborg, Ministry of Higher Education & Science Representative
    Vice Provost for Education at University of Copenhagen
    First Election Date: April 2014
    End of Current Period: April 2018
  • Charlotte Mark
    Managing Director, Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen
    First Election Date: April 2014
    End of Current Period: April 2018
  • Martha Johnson
    Assistant Dean, Learning Abroad at University of Minnesota
    First Election Date: April 2014
    Latest Re-election Date: April 2016
    End of Current Period: April 2020

Executive Director

Malene Torp became Executive Director in January 2014. Malene has a long history with DIS, starting as a Program Director in 2001. Since that time, she has held various positions including faculty member, Academic Director and, since 2008, Associate Director. In her role as Associate Director, she worked closely with the previous Director, U.S. partner institutions, the DIS faculty, and staff throughout the organization. She is a political scientist (Cand. Scient. Pol.) from the University of Copenhagen and was a Fulbright Scholar at New York University. Malene continues to serve the mission of DIS and is committed to the DIS vision of ongoing program development, quality improvement, and strong partner relations.

Executive Team

The Executive team prepares strategic plans, handles significant or fundamental operational matters, and ensures effective communication channels at DIS. The Executive team handles, in particular, the organization’s strategy and action plan process, budget, major procurements and projects, DIS structure and organizational development, as well as major policies of administration and HR policy issues.

The DIS Executive team consists of:

  • Malene Torp, Executive Director
  • Martin Hogan, Deputy Executive Director
  • Helle Rytkønen, Academic Director
  • Anette Frederiksen, Director of Housing & Student Affairs
  • Brad Stepan, Director of North American Operations
  • Rasmus Gregersen, Finance Director
  • Swenyu Hu, Director, Strategic Planning & Projects (acts as the assistant to the Executive team)

The Executive team convenes four times per year for planning workshops and, to ensure strong communication, meets weekly for knowledge sharing, aligning activities with DIS strategy, and to identify warning signs that may influence the good health of the organization.

The Executive team also prepares and guides the development of the DIS Director Group who, through their staff and faculty, deliver all organizational activities — academics, housing & student affairs, North American operations, IT, finance, properties, study tours, HR, and new business development.

External Collaboration

While most DIS courses are hosted by DIS and developed by DIS Program Directors in collaboration with the Academic Director, there is also a selection of courses available for students at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark’s Technical University, the Royal Academic of Music, and the Copenhagen Business School. These courses are taught in English for local and international students and are noted in the DIS course list. The objectives of the collaboration are to give students access to further resources outside of DIS, as well as additional academic engagement opportunities.

School of Record

The University of Minnesota is the DIS school of record. The University of Minnesota works closely with DIS regarding curriculum and program quality through representation on the DIS Curriculum Committee and through program reviews every fourth year. DIS issues students a Final Grade Report after completion of the term of attendance. The student’s home institution determines whether the Final Grade Report from DIS is accepted directly, or whether an official transcript from a U.S. accredited institution is needed. If this is the case, the University of Minnesota acts as the School of Record and provides an official transcript.