Professor Lars G. Svåsand is professor in Democracy and Development at the Department for Comparative Politics, and new Director of the Board of Chr. Michelsen Institute. 

An important issue in development research, says Lars G. Svåsand, is to understand the mechanisms that contribute to sustainable development and improvements in the life of people. In a period of economic growth it is important to uncover how this growth can lead to more equal conditions both within and between countries and how one can prevent the progress that has been made from regressing.

- CMI has a unique inter-disciplinary scientific staff, supported by a professional administration and an excellent international network. CMI therefore has every possibility to further develop its status as a national and international first rate research institution, holds Svåsand.

- As chair of the board I look forward to working, together with the rest of the board members, with the researchers and administration of CMI to assist the institute in its pursuit of its stated objectives. I see the board's role, in addition to fulfilling the tasks assigned to it in the statutes, to support the leadership, the members of the institute, individually and as teams, to develop their research potential. This is particularly important for the younger members.