Minister of Industry Össur Skarphédinsson has submitted a statement defending his decision to hire Gudni A. Jóhannesson as director of the National Energy Authority, saying Jóhannesson has the highest education compared to the other applicants.
Skarphédinsson further stated that Jóhannesson, who has a PhD in physical engineering, has a strong vision for the National Energy Authority’s future and is more likely than the other applicants to have fresh ideas for its operations.
Accoridng to the minister, Jóhannesson has also earned respect in the international community for several articles on energy and natural resources published in books and scientific journals, Morgunbladid reports.
One of the other eight applicants, assistant energy director Ragnheidur Inga Thórarinsdóttir, is dissatisfied with Skarphédinsson’s decision and she was the one who requested the statement from the minister including arguments on why he had preferred Jóhannesson.
Thórarinsdóttir does not feel the minister’s statement was satisfactory and plans to report his decision to the Ombudsman of the Althingi parliament and/or to the complaints committee for equality issues.
“In the statement it says that Jóhannesson has the highest education, but one questions the validity of that argument when someone was requested who could organize daily operations, be in charge of other employees and handle financial matters,” Thórarinsdóttir said, adding that she also has a PhD in engineering as well as an MBA degree in finance and management.