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Joakim Mörnefält Appointed Executive Director of National Geographic’s Global Exploration Fund in Northern Europe


STOCKHOLM — The National Geographic Society today announced the appointment of Joakim Mörnefält as executive director of its Global Exploration Fund in Northern Europe, the first of National Geographic’s new regional centers around the globe to fund research, conservation and exploration projects. The Stockholm-based Northern European Fund launched in 2011 with support from the Swedish Postcode Lottery.

Mörnefält will report to Terry Garcia, executive vice president, National Geographic Mission Programs, based in Washington, D.C. “Since the Global Exploration Fund debuted in Sweden, we have provided funding to more than 66 projects throughout the northern European region,” said Garcia. “Joakim has vast experience in brand management and communication outreach strategy, which will help us continue to expand our programs in this region.”

The Stockholm team headed by Mörnefält will help lead National Geographic’s efforts in the northern European region, serving as primary contact for prospective grant applicants, exhibits, public programs and potential funders.

Prior to joining National Geographic, Mörnefält worked at ManpowerGroup Sweden as its marketing and communications director. During his 12 years at ManpowerGroup, it grew to become the 10th largest employer in Sweden. Mörnefält also held the position of ManpowerGroup’s global brand strategy director, contributing to strengthening the image of the brand as a thought leader in the marketplace. Before ManpowerGroup, Mörnefält gained wide experience across multiple industry sectors, including on- and offline retail, consulting and industrial businesses. He studied marketing and business administration at Växjö University.

”I am so happy and proud to get this opportunity to work with an organization like the National Geographic Society, which supports the scientific, exploration and conservation efforts of explorers around the world,” said Mörnefält. ”This is really something of a boyhood dream come true for me, and I look forward to growing this brand throughout Europe and helping National Geographic inspire even more people to care about the planet. I am excited to be coming on board as National Geographic celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.”

The Stockholm-based team also will support outreach opportunities in the region, including the newly launched National Geographic Live program, which premiered last week at Konserthuset in Stockholm with a presentation by renowned National Geographic underwater photographer Brian Skerry. The series will continue this spring with public programs featuring photographers Annie Griffiths and Sweden’s own Mattias Klum.

Since 1890, the National Geographic has funded grants to every corner of the Earth — filling gaps in human knowledge, sometimes in spectacular ways. In 2011, the total number of National Geographic grants reached 10,000, representing a combined value of $153 million. Scientific field research, exploration, conservation and adventure are the backbone of National Geographic’s grants; the scientific grants focus primarily on anthropology, archaeology, biology, geology, geography, oceanography and paleontology.

National Geographic grants have led to countless discoveries that continue to shed light on the planet’s rich variety and diversity — and help preserve it. The results from field work are shared with audiences around the world through an array of National Geographic media, including print, broadcast and online outlets as well as events, exhibits and educational platforms.

The Global Exploration Fund is modeled on National Geographic’s century-long approach to funding scientific field research, exploration and conservation projects through targeted grant programs.

A scientific advisory board composed of leading scientists from across the region has been appointed to evaluate projects for potential funding. Residents of the following 14 countries are eligible to receive grants: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Additional information about the new Global Exploration Fund and how to apply for a grant is available at

About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, television programs, films, music and radio, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 37 local-language editions, is read by more than 60 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches 440 million households in 171 countries in 38 languages. National Geographic Digital Media receives more than 25 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit


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