Topics: International Relations
Regional focus: Europe
Origin: Denmark
Fellowship: Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow

Lykke Friis is director of Think Tank EUROPA in Copenhagen. Since 2020, she is also co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). From 2009-2011, she served as minister of climate, energy, and gender equality of Denmark. From 2011-2013, she was member of the Danish parliament for the Liberal Party.

Prior to joining Think Tank EUROPA, Friis was Berlin correspondent for the Danish daily, Berlingske. From 2003-2009, and again from 2013-2018, she was Prorector of the University of Copenhagen. She served on the board of two global companies with headquarters in Denmark, Vestas, and Velux. Before that she was research director at the Danish Institute of International Affairs and director European Affairs at the Confederation of Danish Industries.

Presently, she is president of the Danish Cancer Society and serves on a number of committees on sports, such as football. In 2007, she was appointed as member of the Reflection Group by the European State and Heads of Government. The group, which was spearheaded by former prime minister Felipe Gonzales, was tasked to develop policy ideas after the rejection of the EU’s constitutional treaty. In 2016-2017, she served on the high-level group to formulate a vision for future research and innovation, appointed by the EU-commissioner of research.

Friis has researched and published extensively on issues related to German and European politics. Her bestselling book on the war in Ukraine has been nominated for two book prizes in Denmark. Friis holds a master’s in European studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a master’s in political science from the University of Copenhagen. She is also Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen. Friis is of Danish and German origin.

Last Updated: 2023