Pia Hansson is the Director of the Institute of International Affairs and its three centres, the Centre for Small States Studies, the Centre for Arctic Studies and Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre. Pia is in charge of daily operations, policy and supervision of staff, including the coordination of a number of research projects in the field of international relations and foreign policy, the organization of conferences and seminars, and the publication of conference volumes and book series. Pia supervises fund raising and communication with sponsors, is in charge of media relations, writing applications and reports for grants and planning and implementing international intensive courses for graduate students of international relations and political science. In addition, Pia has taught a graduate level course on international cooperation at the University of Iceland for the last three years.
Pia holds a B.A. degree in Communication from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. degree in International Relations from the University of Iceland. She also pursued an M.F.A. programme in Television Production at the City University of New York. For years Pia worked as a Broadcasting Producer and Director, both in Iceland and abroad, until she became the Media Specialist at the Embassy of the United States in Iceland from 2000-2006. In the winter of 2007-8 Pia served as the Head Spokesperson for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), a Nordic ceasefire monitoring mission in Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.