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Meet AHO’s new chairwoman, Lisa Ann Cooper

Meet AHO’s new chairwoman, Lisa Ann Cooper

On 1 August Lisa Ann Cooper will assume the position as chairwoman, succeeding Gunnar B. Kvaran. Lisa has already been active as a board member for the past four years, and is looking forward to working more with diversity and international cooperation.

“I was so surprised when they asked me. I may perhaps have been a bit too active during the board meetings. AHO has some of the most skilled, passionate people I have ever met. I’m apprehensive, but thrilled to become chairwoman,” Lisa says. 

Wants more diversity

Lisa Ann Cooper is a Norwegian-American. After meeting a Norwegian by chance in a bar in New York, she accompanied him to Norway, and moved to Oslo in 1989. Since then she has been involved in a number of projects with diversity as a common denominator. 

“I went completely mad with projects at one point. However, now I’m focusing on Catalyst as a driver with diversity, inclusion and mentoring,” she says. 

In addition to this, she has always been active on various boards. Four years ago she was asked to become a board member at AHO. AHO works towards greater diversity in the school, and it was natural to have Cooper join the team. 

“Schools and universities are responsible for ensuring that they reach the whole population, not just two post codes. If the school had greater diversity, what would it look like? What kind of projects would we have seen?” Lisa asks. 

Several people at AHO want to find the answer to this, which has led to projects such as Opening up AHO and greater focus on diversity in recruitment processes at the school. 

International partnerships 

In addition to her commitment to diversity, Lisa sees even greater potential in international partnerships. 

“It would be interesting to have an even more international mindset and make AHO even better known out there. Getting more exchange students, and doing more in terms of research. These are major tasks that I can’t wait to get to grips with,” she says.  

Among other things, in the next four years the board will focus on appointing a new rector and pursuing AHO’s new strategy, Agenda 2025. 

“This is something I have a real passion for. I have to remind myself that it is not I who will be heading AHO, but I will ensure good management and governance. I nevertheless encourage people to get in touch. I want to get to know and learn as much about the school as possible. And if diversity is part of the equation, I’m happy to make a contribution,” she says.