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:

Charlotte Mark, Chair (Independent)
Managing Director, Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen ApS
Born: 1964
Gender: Female
Other leadership positions:

  • Chair of the Board, Meetingplace Wonderful Copenhagen
  • Chair of the Board, Dansk Industri (DI) Forsknings- og Uddannelsesudvalg
  • Vice Chair of the Board, Dansk Industri (DI) – DI Digital
  • Chair of the Board, Science City Lyngby
  • Board member, Engineer the Future

First Election Date: April 2014
Latest Re-election Date: April 2022
End of Current Period: April 2026

Peter Fly Lundby Hansen, Vice Chair (Independent)
Investor, Board member, Advisor
Born: 1965
Gender: Male
Other leadership positions:

  • Chair of the Board, Scope Investment Fondsmæglerselskab A/S

First Election Date: July 2020
Latest Re-election Date: n/a
End of Current Period: April 2024

Regitze Hess (Faculty Appointee)
Architect and DIS Faculty
Born: 1962
Gender: Female
Other leadership positions: n/a

First Election Date: September 2020
Latest Re-election Date: n/a
End of Current Period: April 2023

Per Hjuler (Independent)
Group Chief Marketing Officer, Norlys
Born: 1963
Gender: Male
Other leadership positions:

  • Board member, Kabooki
  • Board of Advisors member, LEGO House

First Election Date: April 2021
Latest Re-election Date: n/a
End of Current Period: April 2025

Trine Højbjerg Sand (Ministry of Higher Education & Science Appointee)
Deputy Director of Education and Students at Roskilde University
Born: 1973
Gender: Female
Other leadership positions: n/a

First Election Date: April 2022
Latest Re-election Date: n/a
End of Current Period: April 2026

Ellen Sayles (Independent)
Associate Dean and Director of Education Abroad at University of Richmond, U.S.A.
Born: 1961
Gender: Female
Other leadership positions:

  • Member of University of Richmond Institutional Coordinating Council
  • Board Member, Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia

First Election Date: June 2022
Latest Re-election Date: n/a
End of Current Period: April 2024

Anne-Marie Skov (Independent)
Chair of the Board, Tuborg Foundation
Born: 1953
Gender: Female
Other leadership positions:

  • Chair of the Board, Collstrup Mindelegat
  • Board member, Fondenes Videnscenter
  • Board member, Fonden for Socialt Ansvar
  • Adjunct professor, CBS
  • Member of CBS, SOL/cand.merc Advisory Board
  • Member of Følgegruppen i CBS – Center for Civil Society Studies

First Election Date: April 2014
Latest Re-election Date: April 2021
End of Current Period: April 2025

Ian Terkildsen (Staff Appointee)
Director of Custom Programs, DIS
Born: 1977
Gender: Male
Other leadership positions: n/a

First Election Date: April 2014
Latest Re-election Date: April 2019
End of Current Period: April 2023

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 administrative and HR policies.

The DIS Executive team consists of:

  • Malene Torp, Executive Director
  • Anette Frederiksen, Director of Organizational Development and Student Affairs
  • Rasmus Gregersen, Finance Director
  • Martin Hogan, Special Advisor to the Executive Director
  • Nikolaj Opstrup, Director of Business Technology
  • Helle Rytkønen, Academic Director
  • Brad Stepan, Director of North American Operations
  • Swenyu Hu, Project Portfolio Manager (acts as the assistant to the Executive team)

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

The Executive team also prepares and guides the development of the DIS Supervisor Group who, through their staff and faculty, deliver all organizational activities.

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 and the Royal Academy of Music. 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.