STOCKHOLM (Jan. 15, 2014)—The National Geographic Society has appointed Emma Edwall as partnership director and Merci Olsson as communications and outreach director in its Sweden office. The Stockholm-based office opened in 2011 with support from the Swedish Postcode Lottery and focuses on National Geographic’s mission programs, expanding the Society’s long-standing editorial presence in the region. Edwall and Olsson will report to Joakim Mörnefält, executive director of National Geographic’s programs in Europe.
The Northern European office launched with the Global Exploration Fund, a grants program modeled on National Geographic’s century-long approach to funding science, research, exploration and conservation projects. The Global Exploration Fund-Northern Europe, under the stewardship of local staff and guided by a board of prominent scientists and explorers from the region, seeks out and funds the most talented scientists, explorers and conservationists from the following countries to work anywhere in the world: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
In addition to the grants program, National Geographic has launched its National Geographic Live speaker series in the region, featuring multimedia presentations by National Geographic explorers, photographers and authors, in an effort to engage broader audiences. .
“Since 2011, National Geographic’s European presence has been vital in funding 98 projects and increasing engagement in the Society’s activities. These two key staff appointments will strengthen our outreach to prospective grant applicants, exhibits, public programs and potential funders,” said Mörnefält.
Edwall has 14 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining National Geographic, she was manager, corporate partnerships, for WWF Sweden. “National Geographic brings exciting opportunities for inspiration, exploration and innovation for a sustainable future. I look forward to reaching out to prospective funders who want to leverage their businesses by supporting scientific, exploration and conservation efforts around the world,” she said.
Edwall has a Bachelor of Science in business and economics from Sweden’s Örebro University.
With 18 years of communications experience, Olsson worked most recently at Nobel Media, the media company for the Nobel Prize, where she was marketing and communications director for five years. She established the social media presence for the Nobel Prize and worked on communications strategies within digital media, broadcast and events. “Having the chance to work with a legendary brand such as National Geographic is an amazing challenge, and I am delighted to be part of the team,” said Olsson.
She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
About the National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, television programs, films, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, radio, school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 39 local-language editions, is read by more than 60 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches 440 million households in 171 countries in 48 languages. National Geographic’s digital media receives more than 27 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
Images of Edwall and Olsson can be found on the ftp site:
user name: press