Mr. Gard Titlestad, Secretary General for International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), is head of the ICDE Permanent Secretariat. Based on ICDE´s strategies, Gard is keen in facilitating and collaboration on initiatives, projects, events and for enhancing the quality of open, distance, flexible and online education, including e-learning, ODL. In close partnership with UNESCO, open, distance, online and eLearning is positioned to contribute to quality education for all. Collaboration between institutions, associations and individuals is a key priority, on a regional, global and north-south-south basis.

The last few years Mr. Titlestad has presented and discussed ICDE and ODL issues in Asia, Africa, Arab countries, Europe, North and South America.

Gard Titlestad joined ICDE after six years at the Nordic Council of Ministers, NCM, in Copenhagen, Denmark, as director for the Department of Knowledge and Welfare. He managed the secretariat for several configurations of ministers including the ministers for education and research, the ministers for health and social affairs, the ministers for labour affairs, ministers for IT and for a shorter period the ministers for enterprise and the ministers for finance. His focus was on Nordic cooperation in education, research and innovation and the so-called knowledge triangle, and in particular the role of universities. Under his guidance, major initiatives were taken, among them:

  • Research and innovation on climate change, energy and environment – for green growth.
  • The new Nordplus programme comprising Nordic and Baltic countries.
  • Nordic eScience and high capacity networks and supercomputing in the Baltic Sea area and with Russia.
  • Strengthened co-operation between the Nordic Countries and Russia, and with China, on education and research.

Before joining the NCM, Gard served as Research Counsellor and counsellor for IT for Norway and as member of the executive team for the Norwegian delegation to the European Union. Prior to this, Gard was a senior official in the European Commission in Brussels, Directorate General Information Society. In Norway Mr. Titlestad worked for the Norwegian Government in research and development agencies.
Mr. Titlestad is educated Physiochemist and in legal and management issues.