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Ambassador returns to Denmark as new Director of Danida Fellowship Centre


Ulla Næsby Tawiah, Denmark’s present Ambassador to Burkina Faso, will be returning to Denmark to take over as Director of Danida Fellowship Centre 1 August 2019 after more than 20 years of service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“I am passionate about international development cooperation and I have been working in the field throughout my professional career – ever since my very first job as a junior adviser at the research institution IFPRI and right up to my current position as Ambassador,” says Ulla Næsby Tawiah.

Vast international development knowledge
Ulla Næsby Tawiah will be bringing vast knowledge and experience to Danida Fellowship Centre. She has worked with Danish development policy in the 20 years she has been in the Foreign Service, most recently as Ambassador in Burkina Faso and earlier as Adviser at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Ghana.

While at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she contributed to the formulation of The World 2030 – Denmark’s Strategy for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance (2017) and Denmark’s Policy for Support to Civil Society (2014), and to the development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ gender equality policy (2014) and the guidelines for country programming (2012).

Management experience
Ulla Næsby Tawiah has solid management experience from her posts at home and abroad and her experience of change management will be particularly welcome when Danida Fellowship Centre moves from Frederiksberg to Holbæk in the autumn of 2020.

Ulla Næsby Tawiah is no stranger to Danida fellowship Centre,
“I know Danida Fellowship Centre well from my time working in Danish embassies – I have sent many people from West Africa on scholarships for training and further education in Denmark and in the region – and also from my time working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department for Humanitarian Action and Civil Society where the ministry’s cooperation with the Centre was then anchored. I am very well acquainted with Danida Fellowship Centre’s many qualities and I can see exciting possibilities for further strengthening its impact both at home and abroad.”

Ulla Næsby Tawiah will be taking over from Anne Christensen as Director from 1 August 2019. Anne Christensen headed Danida Fellowship Centre for 22 years.

Outstanding global outlook
Danida Fellowship Centre’s overall goal is to contribute to the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and The World 2030 – Denmark’s Strategy for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance. The Centre has an outstanding global outlook and three main duties: (i) to support development research, (ii) to contribute to capacity development within the framework of Danish development assistance and Strategic Sector Cooperation, and (iii) to develop alumni networks for former Danida scholarship holders in low-income and growth countries. It is when these three activities interlock and many external partners are involved, that learning, knowledge sharing and experience come into play.

The administration moves to Holbæk from 2020
Frederiksberg has been Danida Fellowship Centre’s base for the past 25 years but the administration of the Centre will be moving to Holbæk in 2020 as part of the government’s decentralisation plan, “A Better Balance”. The move to Holbæk will give Danida Fellowship Centre’s new management the opportunity to strengthen its cooperation with The Danish Evaluation Institute, the Danish Accreditation Institution and sections of the Ministry of Education’s Authority for Education and Quality, as Danida Fellowship Centre will be sharing premises with these institutions.

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