the board

Jan Thomas Odegard - Board Chair

Jan Thomas Odegard has been Chair of the TMT Board since 2016, and has been a board member since the founding of TMT in 2013.


Odegard has worked on environmental and development issues for 30 years as director, board member and program manager with NGOs and foundations, with in the UN and the private sector, as well as being an activist, university researcher and freelance journalist. 


Jan Thomas spent five years (until late 2012) as the National Director of the oldest and largest Norwegian member based environmental organisation (Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature/ Friends of the Earth Norway). Here Odegard worked closely with TMT founder Gunnar Album on IUU fisheries and marine resource management in Norway and internationally. From early 2013 Odegard assisted Album in the establishment of TMT, including the planning, fundraising and management of its activities.


Additionally Odegard was stationed with the UN in Mozambique (UNDO/UNIDO) from 1999-2001, after which he became a program manager with  the Rainforest Foundation Norway until 2007, focusing on natural resource management, policy development and fundraising. He was subsequently ten years on the board, and the vice-chair since 2016. Odegard also has experience as a social sciences researcher from the University of Oslo, as program manager for Norwegian Human Rights Fund, and ten years as an activist and free-lance journalist.  


Since October 2018 he is the Executive Director of The Development Fund, a Norwegian NGO promoting climate adaptation, rights and economic development in rural communities in selected developing countries.

Kirsten Bjøru - Board Member

Kirsten Bjøru has studied mathematics, rural sociology (Cand. Sociol.) at the University of Oslo and development studies (M.Phil.) at the University of Cambridge, UK, with emphasis on peasant economics and share systems in fisheries. She has worked in research of women’s lifecycle, on relationship between fisheries and oil exploration, and as consultant to Norad.


She has worked at the UN Delegation, Norwegian Embassy, Rome, Italy, with the council of FAO, and the Executive Boards of IFAD and WFP; and at the Norwegian Embassy in Maputo.


For most of her working life she has been a senior fisheries adviser in Norad, assisting the Norwegian Embassies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in development issues regarding fisheries management and fisheries development, and lately including illegal fisheries and fisheries crime.


She is currently a pensioner, and works partly as a volunteer.

Zahor El Kharousy - Board Member

Zahor El Kharousy studied Fisheries Biology and Management (Msc) at the University of Bergen, Norway and in 2011 was appointed the first Deputy Director General of the newly established Tanzania Deep Fishing Authority and its Director General two years later.

During the five years he spent at the DSFA he was actively engaged in regional initiatives to fight IUU fishing, including regional air and sea patrols, FISH-i Africa, and the Maputo Declaration which was the first regional effort in setting up Minimum Terms and Conditions for fisheries access in the East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Zahor has been the Commissioner of Tanzania in the International Whaling Commission and alternative head of delegation in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and is currently advising both the Government of Zanzibar and Tanzania on blue economy and the ongoing Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) intergovernmental negotiations of the United Nations.

In 20018 he was appointed to be the Managing Director of the Zanzibar Fisheries Company, a state owned company tasked with the engagement and promotion of sustainable commercial fisheries in the Zanzibar Archipelago.

Kjersti Tusvik - Board Member

Kjersti Tusvik studied law at Stockholm University in Sweden and the University of Oslo in Norway, where she specialised in maritime and insurance law. During the studies, she was a Research Assistant at the Scandinavian Institute for Maritime Law at the University of Oslo.


She has worked for more than 15 years within the field of environmental, maritime and EEA transport law. Her experience includes private and public national and international legal services, research and training. 


Tusvik has experience from the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the legislation department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in Lisbon.


Tusvik is currently working at the EFTA Secretariat in Brussels, where she is responsible for transport law in the EEA Agreement.

Elisabeth Hvaal Lingaas - Alternate Board Member

Elisabeth Hvaal Lingaas is a lawyer educated at the University of Oslo, where she also worked as a Research Coordinator Assistant in the international research project “Sustainable Companies” in 2012-2013.

Hvaal Lingaas is currently working as legal advisor at the Norwegian Maritime Authority, section for operational supervision. She is specializing on legal matters regarding vessel inspections and claims, and on Port State Control. 

Hvaal Lingaas role is to assist the TMT Board to monitor and safeguard any legal issues that may arise in relation to the activities of the foundation. She has been member of the board since 2013.