Publisher and former director of the Aschehoug publishing house, William Nygaard, was last night elected new president of Norwegian PEN. Nygaard has been a board member for many years and is now replacing Anders Heger who steps down after chairing Norwegian PEN since 2007.
William Nygaard was publisher and CEO at Aschehoug from 1974 to 2010 and chairman of the Norwegian Publishers Association from 1987 to 1990. He was elected Chairman of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation in 2010.
Nygaard has always been an outspoken advocate for freedom of speech. He was awarded the Freedom of Expression award from «Fritt Ord» in 1994 and the Torgny Segerstedt award in 1998. He has been appointed «Knight of premier class of the St. Olav order» and – along with Salman Rushdie – an honorary doctorate at the University of Tromsø.
«Norwegian PEN’s current goal is to engage an increasing number of younger people in the Norwegian, and not least, international free expression work and stimulate interest in universal human rights,» said Nygaard after he was elected.
Oslo, April 24, 2013