Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care

Simon Øverland is the new director of the Centre for International Health

Simon Øverland has been appointed as the director of the Centre for International Health (CIH) and will assume the position on September 1, 2023. The Centre for International Health is a centre within the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care.

Portrettbilde av Simon Øverland
Ricky Heggheim

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After Bente Elisabeth Moen, the Centre for International Health's longtime director, revealed that she would be leaving this fall, a lengthy process has been underway to find her replacement. The choice ultimately fell on professor Simon Øverland from Voss. The 48-year-old completed his psychological degree in 2003. Four years later, he defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Bergen with the title "Mental health and impairment in disability benefits: Studies applying linkages between health surveys and administrative registries." Øverland comes from the position of project manager at Helse Bergen.

"I'm very excited to get started and be part of the daily activities at the center," he says.

Familiar with the centre

Although Øverland comes from a position outside of University of Bergen, he is not unfamiliar with the centre or the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care (IGS).

"I've always been aware of the Center for International Health, and during my time at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, I had many collaborations with the IGS. In that context, I also got to know the academic community in and around the Alrek helseklynge. In addition, I happened to be in Zanzibar working on a global health project when I saw the job announcement. All of this naturally led me to apply for the position."

Therefore, he has clear expectations of what awaits him when he starts.

"I expect to meet very skilled and dedicated professionals, both among the scientific staff and in administration. And I am very confident that it is precisely such an environment I will be working in."

Met the students

Even before Øverland started at the centre, he was invited to give a lecture on the burden of disease to the new master's students in global health.

"I was very impressed by the students. They seem very interested and engaged. I expect to see more of that, and I look forward to getting to know them better."

In addition to his extensive leadership experience, the 48-year-old also has a solid background as a lecturer and has taught research methods, epidemiology, and public health to both master's and Ph.D. students.

"I don't want to say too much in advance about what I can contribute because I first need to get to know the centre and understand what is already in place, but I am very focused on broad knowledge and organizational structures. I want to contribute to holistic knowledge and understanding the connections between the center's knowledge and other academic communities. I find that both enjoyable and challenging."

A curious and interested leader

Øverland describes himself as a curious and interested leader, committed to close communication with the entire organization and its network.

"I believe people will see that I am very curious and genuinely interested in getting to know people, understanding what they can do, and what they are working on. I'm tremendously excited to immerse myself in the various activities the centre has and become familiar with everything and everyone."

Privately, the Voss native is passionate about outdoor activities, and despite his broad academic background, he would primarily characterize himself as an outdoors person.

"I love climbing, skiing, high mountain hikes, and activities in the sea. I'm very interested in most outdoor activities."

Welcome, Simon! We look forward to getting to know you better.