Annika Östman

Head of Communications

A communications specialist with a focus on strategic outreach and project management. Always striving to produce concise and innovative content that not only inspires but generates action.

At Nordregio, Annika and her team are responsible for communications and stakeholder engagement as integrated parts of our research projects. Planning and moderating webinars, conferences and workshops for researchers, policymakers and regional development actors is a recurring task to ensure knowledge exchange and Nordic added value.

Main projects include the Nordic Economic Policy Review and Nordic Thematic Group on Green and Inclusive Urban Development.

Academic qualifications

  • MA in Broadcast Journalism from City University, London (2011)
  • BA in International Relations from University of St. Andrews, Scotland (2006)

Relevant courses

  • Strategic Communications in a Digital Age, George Washington University (2015)


  • English
  • Swedish
  • French (Basic)

Prior positions

  • Head of Communications, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation (2021-2022)
  • Communications Manager, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation (2015-2021)
  • Communications Officer, World Bank (2012-2015)
  • Associate Producer, Channel 4 News (2011-2012)
  • Junior Professional Associate, World Bank (2008-2010)


Annika Östman‘s spatial story

I recently learned that I am a border-stalker. You may think this means I am some sort of wild trespasser, but it is a lot more profound than that. Border-stalkers are, in fact, people who live life at the edges of different identities and in the spaces between different geographies.

The concept comes from the Japanese American artist Makoto Fujimura, and when I heard of it, I knew that for the first time, I had heard a perfect definition of my life.

I was born in Geneva to Swedish parents, spent my childhood moving between Sweden and East Africa, went to boarding school in America, and graduated from university in Scotland. I have worked in London, Monrovia, Washington, and Uppsala before coming to work for Nordregio in Stockholm.

It has at times, been very difficult to move around this much and to continually start over, often in different cultures and languages. I have regularly felt that I don’t really belong in any one culture and struggled to answer simple questions like: “Where are you from?”

What truly resonates with me about Fujimura’s concept is that border-stalkers are credited with having the ability to “cross tribal norms.” I have found that the beauty of living in these spaces between different geographies is that you can more often see what connects us than what divides us.

I genuinely enjoy meeting new people and connecting people of different backgrounds. I guess it should, therefore, come as no surprise that I ended up working as a communicator, striving never to be bound by a place or a certain culture but thriving on interactions with people.