We are happy to welcome Jenny Spring as the new Head of Secretariat. Jenny began in her position in the end of February and is eager to start with her new duties.

Having grown up in Kirkenes, the sole Norwegian town bordering Finland and Russia, Jenny's engagement with the Barents Cooperation has been lifelong. From an early age, her passion for sports like swimming and soccer led her to participate in cross-border events, where she built connections with other young athletes across the Barents Region. Little did she know, her participation in tournaments in Finland and competitions in Sweden was contributing to a cause far greater than any single event. She was one of many who contributed to the Barents Cooperation, and that is what makes it both powerful and unique, she believes.

During her teens, Jenny's curiosity for knowledge about her neighboring nations encouraged her into cross-border youth projects involving Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. These ventures not only created new friendships, but also enriched the vibrancy and allure of life in the Barents Region.

While completing her Master of Business Administration at the Arctic University of Tromsø, Jenny interned at the International Barents Secretariat. As an intern in 2013, Jenny was in the right place at the right time, to experience the 20th anniversary of the Barents Cooperation, an event she helped organize. Furthermore, she got valuable insights on the structure and work of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

Over the past seven years, Jenny's role at the Norwegian Barents Secretariat has seen her spearheading international cooperation in business, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Serving as a Project Manager, she's led numerous cross-border collaborations. An unexpected highlight was reuniting with a Swedish project coordinator she'd met during a youth event, a moment that brought her full circle, realizing her contributions to the Barents Cooperation began much earlier than she recognized, already as a child.

Jenny's enduring curiosity and passion later steered her to the position of chair of the regional working group on investment and economic cooperation, further enriching her perspective within the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

Immersed in the Barents collaboration from childhood, through my youth, and into my professional life, I've gained valuable experience and witnessed firsthand its progress, with all its highs and lows. My dedication and accomplishments to date are commendable, and I am eager to contribute to this robust foundation, enhancing the new initiatives of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, in close collaboration with the countries involved.