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Defence Lecture: Are women better leaders than men, does diversity matter in military operations? by Major General Kristin Lund

Major General Kristin Lund, retired United Nations Force Commander

Date/Time: Tuesday 7 February 2023, 5.30pm

Venue: Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building, Newcastle University

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All our events remain free and open to all, but pre-booking is required. Bookings for this lecture will open at 10.00am on 31 January.

To reserve your place click the booking link below or telephone our booking voicemail line 0191 208 6136.

Hosted by Dr Martin Farr, Chaired by Dr Katharine Wright

Being the first female Force Commander and Head of Mission/Chief of Staff in UN history gave Major General Lund a unique experience to lead multinational units and organisations. With her extensive international service from different military operations abroad she will share her knowledge and experience of the importance of gender and diversity as qualities in a leader.


Major General(R) Kristin Lund retired from active-duty December 2019 after 40 years of service when she returned back to Norway after being the Head of Mission/Chief of Staff of United Nation Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East. Between her last two missions she worked as Senior Advisor at the Norwegian Defence University College (NODEFIC) with ceasefire mediation course, leadership lectures, UN training and later as a Practitioner in Residence from 1 January 2020 until July 2021 at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, PRIO.

The General has two unique distinctions as being the first female Norwegian Army Officer promoted to the rank of Major General, and the first female Force Commander in UN history for United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP). During her service, she has held several prominent positions, both nationally and abroad, including as Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Home Guard. Her career has also seen multiple deployments overseas with both NATO and the UN to conflict zones. In October 2017 Major General Lund took command of UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organization) as Head of Mission/Chief of staff. First in UN history to hold a Head of Mission as a female military. The main focus of her work has been on logistics, civil-military cooperation and coordination (CIMIC), light infantry (Homeguard), mediation and gender equality. Her gender equality contributions were recognized when she was awarded the Norwegian Armed Forces Equality Award in 2004. Major General Lund’s accomplishments have earned her the following prestigious awards, namely the Gulf medal with bar in 1991, the French Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur in 2015 and the Norwegian Defence Cross of Honour in 2016.  In October 2019 she received the Norwegian Order of St Olav for her tireless work with gender equality in the Norwegian Forces and within international operations. Since 2015 she has been a member of Nordic Women Mediators Network.  She holds a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from US Army War College.