My name is Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir. I was born just shy of the Arctic Circle, in Ólafsfjörður, Iceland and lived in the north of Iceland until my early teens, when I moved to Reykjavík. Throughout my twenties I lived in the US, where I studied international relations.

I completed my BA from Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon, my MA from University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and later did my PhD at University College Cork in Ireland. I also hold postgraduate certificates in methodology of social sciences and university teaching.

Upon returning to Iceland, I went back to live in the north, in Akureyri, where I worked the Centre for Gender Equality. In 2006 I started working full-time at the University of Iceland, where I am an associate professor of international affairs at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Iceland.

I teach foreign policy analysis, negotiations, international politics and US politics. I also supervise student research on a wide range of topics, often with an Arctic focus. My research emphasizes the role of women and feminism in international affairs, feminist foreign policy and Icelandic foreign and security policy. In all of these issues, Iceland’s status as a small state in the Arctic, where it is situated between great powers and faced with increasing attention by many more actors, plays a significant role.

You can follow me on Twitter @siljabara


For more information at my university webpage:

Here is a list of some of my presentations related to the Arctic:

Small states and peace in the Arctic: Perspectives from Iceland, presentation at the University of Tromsø March 20 2018

Full and substantive gender equality – how to get away from symbolic representation and counting heads, presentation at the Arctic Circle, Reykjavík October 14 2017

The Nordic Universities’ Role in the New Arctic: Safety and Peace, presentation at the Arctic Circle, Reykjavík October 13 2017

Iceland’s Arctic Policy: Great Powers, Great Opportunities? Presentation at China-Nordic Arctic (CNARC) Conference in Shanghai May 27, 2015

Staking a Claim or Claiming a Stake: Iceland’s Interests and Actions in the Arctic. Presentation at the Trans Arctic Agenda, Reykjavík October 28, 2014