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Meet our future Dean Joakim Gullstrand

Man resting in a chair on a beach under a tree
”I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and I’m eager to collaborate with our talented faculty, staff, and students,” says Joakim. (Photo from a break during a hike in Österlen, near Kivik.) Photo: Jens Gullstrand.

From January 2024 LUSEM will have a new Dean, Joakim Gullstrand. How does he feel about his new role? And why does he want to become the Dean of LUSEM? Keep reading!

In Joakim's office, in the Alfa 1 building, there is an abundance of books (with titles such as International Trade, Regional Integration and The Global Food Chain) and papers, yet the office looks organised and is pleasant to enter. There is an extra pair of running shoes next to the desk and you get the feeling that the person who works here is the active type. After a while, it turns out to be true; this future Dean really lives an active life with hiking, horse riding and scuba diving.

How do you feel about being appointed new Dean of LUSEM?

”I’m truly honoured and humbled to be appointed as the Dean of our school. This role is not just a position but a commitment to uphold the values and standards set by all within our esteemed institution. I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and I’m eager to collaborate with our talented faculty, staff, and students,” says Joakim.

Joakim outlines his vision as aiming to uphold the existing traditions of the School while also focusing even more on areas like collegiality, engagement, and innovation for future development.

Why do you want to become the Dean? 

”My interest in academic leadership was ignited when I started as the Head of Department. Initially overwhelming, the role soon became both gratifying and stimulating as I delved into its multifaceted responsibilities. I have found academic leadership to be rewarding and I see the Dean’s position as an opportunity to extend those experiences.”

Useful experience

In discussing his career path, Joakim’s background appears highly relevant for his new role as Dean. His ten-year stint at the state agency called Livsmedelsekonomiska Institutet sharpened his understanding in policy evaluation, public outreach, and research. While serving in the Economics department, he managed both teaching and research responsibilities. His four-year term as Head of Department enriched his understanding of the faculty dynamics and the broader academic environment:

”In my role as the Head of the department, one of the most enriching experiences was striving to deeply understand the diverse work and situations faced by my colleagues, spanning research, teaching, outreach, and administration. Admittedly, there were moments of challenge in truly grasping the breadth and depth of their contributions. Yet, it was incredibly fulfilling when I could facilitate, support, and amplify their efforts, especially when it meant bringing them together to harness synergies. As Dean, the prospect of delving deeper into the multifaceted layers of our School and forging stronger ties across all its components fills me with immense enthusiasm.”

A diver upside down under water and at man and a horse from below with blue sky in the background. Photo.
Joakim loves to go scuba diving and horseback riding on his horse, Vindfaxi (Silver mane). Photo: Leonardo Kjellström and Joakim himself.

Joakim has a keen interest in organisations in general and he looks forward to seeing LUSEM develop as an organisation:

”I’m fascinated by organizational dynamics, particularly in academia. Often, academics see themselves as isolated units, tackling a myriad of tasks alone. I think, however, that collaboration and a sense of community are key to personal and institutional growth. By fostering a culture of teamwork and belonging, we can enhance innovation and make LUSEM an even better workplace.”

Best thing about LUSEM

And last but not least, what is the best thing about LUSEM?

”The commitment of the colleagues, it feels good to be part of such an organisation," Joakim says. 

”No matter what people do here, they are passionate about what they do, it's great. I also see a high level of professionalism everywhere, people seem committed and want to do a very good job. And this applies to all parts of our organisation, teaching, research, administration, and external relations. This workplace is very dynamic, and I see that the interaction between different parts is developing which is gratifying. Not only on the research side. And I want to continue to foster that.”

Did you know this about Joakim?

  • Lives in Lund.
  • Loves to go hiking or scuba diving with his two sons, 19 and 21 years old.
  • Owns a horse, an Icelandic horse called Vindfaxi (Silver mane).
  • Has Black Belt in Taekwondo.
  • Is a certified diving instructor and a technical diver.

Joakim's academic career

  • Took his Bachelor, Master's and PhD (2002) at LUSEM.
  • Worked as a researcher on agricultural policies at the state agency called Livsmedelsekonomiska institutet (today known as AgriFood) 2001-2011.
  • With LUSEM since 2011, after he applied for a Senior Lecturer position.
  • Became professor in Economics 2013.
  • His primary fields of research are within international economics, but he is also very interested in everything that has to do with the food chain.

Joakim's profile in the LU Research Portal

Portrait. Photo.