Gunhild Stordalen

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Gunhild Anker Stordalen
Gunhild Melhus.JPG
Gunhild Stordalen in 2009
Born (1979-01-15) January 15, 1979 (age 38)
Haugesund, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Other names Gunhild Melhus
Occupation Physician, advocate, debater
Known for Co-founder of Stordalen Foundation and CEO of GreeNudge
Spouse(s) Petter Stordalen

Gunhild Anker Stordalen[needs IPA] (born Gunhild Melhus, January 15, 1979) is a Norwegian physician, environmental advocate and public debater. Married to hotel owner Petter Stordalen, she is the co-founder and chairman of the philanthropic Stordalen Foundation, as well as CEO of GreeNudge and serving on the board of several commercial and nonprofit organizations. She has been engaged in public debate on issues like climate change and public health.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

The daughter of a doctor and a civil engineer, she was born in Haugesund and raised in the sparsely populated hamlet of Muggerud outside Kongsberg. According to an interview with Dagbladet in 2010[2] she grew up in an anti-materialistic and pacifist household and was involved with environmental issues from an early age.[3]

Gunhild Stordalen graduated from Kongsberg secondary school in 1998. She enrolled at the medical faculty of the University of Oslo in 2000, and joined the medical research program. She received her M.D. ( title in 2007. During her time at University she worked with sexual awareness information for youths (Medisinernes Seksualopplysning) as well as an expert panelist[4] on NRKs radio program Juntafil, a show with 250 000 listeners that answers young Norwegians sometimes very explicit sexual questions. Stordalen also worked as a model during her time at University[5]

In 2007 Gunhild Stordalen enrolled in the Ph.D-program at the Institute of Pathology Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet and in 2010 she defended her doctoral thesis Molecular studies on bone with focus on fracture healing in experimental osteoporosis in the field of pathology and orthopedics. (see bibliography).


The Stordalen Foundation which she co-founded with Petter Stordalen focuses primarily on climate change and Gunhild Stordalen has written several op-eds on the subject.[6][7]

The Stordalen foundation focuses on 4 separate areas:

  • The Rainforest Foundation
  • Zero Emission Resource Organisation (ZERO): The Stordalen foundation supports the non-profit environmental organization Zero. Gunhild Stordalen serves on the Board of Directors of the organization.
  • European Climate Foundation: The foundation supports the European Climate Foundation (ECF)[8] and Gunhild Stordalen serves on the organization’s supervisory committee.
  • GreeNudge: In June 2011 the couple founded GreeNudge, a non-profit initiative that will initiate and support behavioral research related to energy efficiency and climate change,[9] in order to provide evidence-based data as a basis for decision makers to implement effective climate policies.[10]
  • On April 18, 2012 a new collaboration between University of Oxford/Smith School of Enterprise and Environment and the Rothschild Foundation and the Stordalen Foundation was announced. 250 of the world’s most influential thinkers and leaders have been invited to Oxford University in July to discuss the management of natural resources. Speakers include Bill Clinton, David Miliband, and James Cameron.[11]

Stordalen is an Earth Hour ambassador[12] for Norway.

Animal Welfare[edit]

Stordalen is an advocate of animal rights and refused to do an interview with Elle until they changed their policy on their use of fur[13] and has spoken out against the fur industry on several occasions,[14] she has also contributed at catwalk shows for the Norwegian Animal Welfare Alliance.

Women's health[edit]

As the spokesperson of the Norwegian Heart and Lung Patient Organization (LHL), she campaign to raise awareness of heart conditions affecting women.[15] She has also educated the public on numerous occasions about the subject of her thesis, osteoporosis.[16]

EAT Stockholm Food Forum[edit]

EAT Stockholm Food Forum was initiated[17] by Gunhild Stordalen and arranged by the Stordalen Foundation and the Stockholm Resilience Centre[18] at the Clarion Hotel Sign in Stockholm in May 2014. The forum which ran for two days, dealt with the connection between food, health and sustainability. Hosting 400 participants from 28 nations, it was a combination of talks, panel debates and discussions between researchers, politicians and industry.[19] The participants included Charles, Prince of Wales, who spoke via a link on the theme of 'The global food system: A sustainable future', former US President Bill Clinton, who gave the keynote speech, and Professor Hans Rosling. Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland and Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway[20] took part in a discussion from a consumer perspective on food and health.

Marriage and family[edit]

Gunhild and Petter Stordalen’s romance has been one of Norway’s most publicized relationships since it became public in 2006.[21][better source needed] On New Year's Eve 2008 Petter Stordalen proposed on top of Aspen Mountain. The NOK 35 million (approx. USD 5 million) wedding was held in Morocco on June 12, 2010, making it Scandinavia’s most expensive wedding, outspending the Crown Princess of Sweden.[22] The lavish treatment of the guests included chartering an airplane[23] and renting all the rooms of La Mamounia, one of the world’s finest luxury hotels. The ceremony was officiated by Bob Geldof[24] in front of 240 of Norway’s most prominent celebrities,[25] from finance and the arts. The wedding received press attention normally reserved for royal weddings[citation needed]; Norway’s largest news website, VG Nett, had a protocol for the public to leave their greetings.[26]


On 22 October 2014 Stordalen was diagnosed with systemic sclerosis and has since been undergoing treatment for the disease.[27]


In 2012 Stordalen was named the youngest woman on Kapital's annual list over the 100 most influential women of Norway[28]



  1. ^ Vi må lede an Aftenposten. Retrieved 8 November 2013 (in Norwegian)
  2. ^ Anne Gunn Halvorsen (20 November 2010). "Den grønne, glitrende" [The green and shiny]. Dagbladet Magasinet. 
  3. ^ Staff (Week 47 2010). "Profile: Gunhild Stordalen". Norwegian Climate Network. Retrieved 11 September 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Pål Hoveng Plassen (20 March 2002). "A different Saturday job". Universitas. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Marcus Husby (5 February 2007). "Stordalen's model girlfriend". Se&Hør. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Gunhild Stordalen (23 March 2011). "Helse sukrer klimapillen" [Health sweetens the climate pill]. Aftenposten. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Gunhild Stordalen (5 November 2010). "Den store klimagåten" [The climate conundrum]. Aftenposten. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Irene Mjøseng (11 May 2011). "Satser millioner på miljøet" [Investing millions in the environment]. Laagendalsposten. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Arne Storrønningen (7 July 2011). "På den grønne gren" [On a green branch]. Fremtiden. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Marianne Løland Skarsgård (9 May 2011). "Svir av 25 mill. i året på miljøet" [Burns 25 million annually on the environment]. Hegnaronline. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Morten Bertelsen (23 April 2012). "Climate Summit with Clinton". Dagens Næringsliv. 
  12. ^ Ivan Tostrup (15 March 2011). "Earth Hour: Her er ambassadørene" [Earth Hour: here are the ambassadors]. WWF Medlem. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  13. ^ Espen Sandli; Eivind Kristensen (16 December 2009). "Earth Hour: Stilte pels-ultimatum for intervju" [Made fur ultimatum for interview]. Dagbladet. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  14. ^ Niels Christian Geelmuyden, Kapital, June 2011
  15. ^ Irene Mjøseng (14 January 2011). "-Menn har rulet legeyrket lenge nok" [-Men have ruled the medical profession long enough]. Laagendalsposten. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  16. ^ Mette Heitmann (18 November 2010). "Brekker du lett?" [Breaking bones often?]. TV2. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Dagens Næringsliv - Norges nye helseteam
  18. ^ Stockholm Resilience Centre - Better food for a better planet
  19. ^ Kungahuset - Prince Daniel and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway attend the EAT Stockholm Food Forum
  20. ^ Kungahuset - Prince Daniel and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway attend the EAT Stockholm Food Forum
  21. ^ Ingar Johnsrud; Mads A. Andersen (12 June 2010). "Stordalen ventet to år på flørte sms?" [Stordalen waited two years for a text message]. Verdens Gang. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  22. ^ Inger Marie Treborg (5 January 2010). "Verdens dyreste bryllup" [The world's most expensive wedding]. TV2. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  23. ^ Ida Anna Haugen; David Andersen (11 June 2010). "Sushi og Champagne til Stordalen-gjestene" [Sushi and Champagne for Stordalen's guests]. Verdens Gang. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  24. ^ Kim Daniel Lindegaard (13 June 2010). "Petter Stordalen og Gunhild viet av Bob Geldof" [Petter Stordalen and Gunhild wed by Bob Geldof]. TV2. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  25. ^ Ingar Johnsrud; Mads A. Andersen; Erlend Skevik (12 June 2010). "Tok helt av på festflyet til Stordalen" [Wild on board Stordalen's party jet]. Verdens Gang. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  26. ^ Protocol (12 June 2010). "Gratuler Petter Stordalen og Gunhild Melhus" [Congratulate Petter Stordalen and Gunhild Melhus]. Verdens Gang. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  27. ^[full citation needed]
  28. ^ Tellefsen, Giske, Schmidt, Fjærestad, Nestaas, Holth, Solem (1 May 2012). "Norway's most influential women". Kapital. 

External links[edit]