As Secretary General for International Council for Open and Distance Education, ICDE, Gard Titlestad is head of the ICDE Permanent Secretariat and is responsible for the sound operation of ICDE. ICDE has this year a focus on leadership in a time of openness, leadership for change. Gard Titlestad joined ICDE after six years at the Nordic Council of Ministers, NCM, in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he was Head of the Department for Knowledge and Welfare. He managed the secretariat for several configurations of ministers including the ministers for education and research, the ministers for health and social affairs, the ministers for labour affairs, and ministers for IT. Gard’s focus was on Nordic cooperation in education, research and innovation and in particular the role of universities. Several new programs and initiatives to stimulate cooperation, knowledge exchange, research and joint projects among higher education institutions, research institutes and knowledge intensive companies were among his achievements in NCM. Before joining the Nordic Council of Ministers, Gard served as Research Counsellor for Norway in Brussels, Belgium, facilitating Norwegian participation in European cooperation including on Information Society initiatives. He was member of the executive team for the Norwegian delegation to the European Union. Prior to this, Gard was a senior official in the European Commission in Brussels, Directorate General Information Society. He led the development of a cross border action plan for IT in Nordic and Baltic countries and also followed up on a European-wide program for information society actions. In Norway Gard worked for the Norwegian Government in research and development agencies. Gard is educated Physiochemist and in legal and management issues.