Danish Refugee Council appoints new International Director

Rikke Friis, who has worked for the Danish Refugee Council for almost 25 years, is taking over as International Director after Ann Mary Olsen.


There’s no need for the grand tour when 50-year-old Rikke Friis takes the reins as international director of the Danish Refugee Council on March 20th. As someone who has worked for the organization since her student years, Rikke knows the place better than most people.

Rikke Friis began her impressive career at the Danish Refugee Council after completing her Masters in Social Sciences from Roskilde University in 1996. She has held several key positions in the organization – both in Denmark and abroad. Over the past seven years she has headed the organization’s Operations and Policy Support Unit and served as deputy head of the International Department.

“I am pleased that Rikke Friis will take over the position of International Director. Throughout the past 25 years she has played a major role in the Danish Refugee Council's development and I am confident that she will continue to do so for many years to come” says Secretary General of the Danish Refugee Council, Andreas Kamm.

During her time at the Danish Refugee Council the organization has transformed from having primarily a Danish focus to becoming Denmark’s largest international humanitarian organization. In 2015 alone the DRC had a 6000 employees working with displaced people in over 40 countries and a turnover of DKK 2.6 billion. She therefore takes over her new role with certain awe:

“Naturally, I am both honored and grateful for the trust that the organization has shown me. Currently, an ever growing number of people are being forced to flee their homes and this puts an enormous pressure on organizations like the Danish Refugee Council that are helping them lead a more dignified life” says the newly appointed international director, Rikke Friis.

She adds a big thank you to her predecessor, Ann Mary Olsen, who has decided to retire.

“The Danish Refugee Council wouldn’t be the organization it is today if it hadn’t been for Ann Mary. She’s played a crucial role in making our organization one of the UN's preferred partners when providing assistance to millions of people annually. Her vision and experience will be truly missed.” says Rikke Friis.

For further information or requests for interviews, please contact press advisor for the Danish Refugee, Sara Schlüter, via the organization's press telephone 0045 2811 6727.