I was born and raised in Reykjavík, and have a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Iceland and an M.A. og M.Phil. in English Literature from Columbia University in New York. I now study public administration at the University of Iceland, part-time while also working. I have a keen sense of justice and fair play and I believe that a strong and organized labor movement is fundamental in improving the wages and working conditions for all of us who live and work in Iceland.
I serve as the president of Fræðagarður, the largest labor union in BHM, a confederation of unions for members with a university education. Fræðagarður is a fast-growing and diverse organization, with members working in all sectors of the labor market. As president, I aim to open up our union to diverse voices. Inclusion, human rights and democracy are key to strengthening our union and our society.
I served for over a decade as the Secretary General of Kvenréttindafélag Íslands, the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, a civil society formed in 1907 to work on women’s rights and gender equality. During the course of my work, I have co-operated closely with the labor movement in Iceland, for example in organizing Kvennafrí, the Women’s Strikes of 2016 and 2018, and organizing the congress of #MeToo women in 2018. We will not achieve women’s liberation until we secure women’s financial independence.
I have also worked as a freelance literary critic and have written and produced various radio programs for RÚV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. My experience as a freelancer has taught me that we who work as independent contractors often lack representation in organized wage bargaining.
I have a long and diverse experience in working in advocacy and civil society and have served on the boards of many civil societies. I was elected to the board of Fræðagarður in 2019, and as union president in 2022. I am the current president of Fjöruverðlaunin – the Icelandic Women’s Literature Prize, a co-organizer of the international literary festival IceCon and serve as an alternate board member for the European Women’s Lobby.
I am a practiced public speaker, both in Icelandic and in English. Media appearances include CNN International, BBC World News, DR 1, France 24, NPR, Deutsche Welle and Vox on Netflix.
I am a passionate advocate for education, reading, knowledge building, and open and free access to information. I have cataloged (most of) my library and published its contents on the internet. I have also built a little free library for my neighborhood. I published a children’s book in 2010, Sjáðu svarta rassinn minn, a collection of feminist folk tales from Icelandic folklore. You can listen to many radio shows I have produced on literature on the website of RÚV. My two favorite are no doubt the one about the afterlife of books where I investigate what happens to books when we need to cull our bookcases and the one I wrote to my grandfather where I review Icelandic literature in Esperanto, equality, peace and freedom at the margins of Europe.