Héðinn Unnsteinsson is currently working as senior policy consultant at Capacent Iceland. Prior Héðinn was a senior policy analyst in the Prime Minister’s (PM) office in Iceland focusing on, among other things, macro policy analysis and coordination of governmental policies and plans. Héðinn holds an M.Sc in International Policy Analysis from the University of Bath (2003). Héðinn started work within mental health in 1994. Héðinn was an entrepreneur in mental health promotion and user’s and careers empowerment and social inclusion in Iceland from ’94-‘01. Héðinn worked as a technical officer for the mental health programme of the World Health Organization at the European office in Copenhagen from 2003-2007, before entering the Icelandic ministry of health in 2007. Héðinn started work in the PM´s office in 2010. Héðinn has lead coordinative work within the Icelandic ministries on policies and plans. Héðinn has been in numerous committees on governance, coordination of polices and plans, rural polices, mental health etc., as well as ministerial committees, f.exp. on public health. Over the last 20 years Héðinn has given over 800 talks on mental and public health worldwide.


  • August 2011 – University of Iceland – MPA (few courses in policy analysis and innovation in government and governmental networks)

  • December 2003 – University of Bath-UK – M.Sc. International Policy Analysis, focus on mental health policy.

  • Mai 1999 – Iceland’s University of Education – B.Ed. in Education.

  • June 1996 – Iceland’s University of Sport and Physical Education – Sport teachers diploma.

  • June 1992 – Berry College – Pre-Medicine – A Rotary Scholar for one year in Georgia USA.

  • Mai 1990 – The Higher Secondary Grammar school of Laugarvatn – Matriculation Examination (Hon).


  • August 2018 - Senior Policy Consultant - Capacent Iceland

  • August 2013 - Part time lecturer at the school of Political Science at the University of Iceland

  • August 2010 - 2018 Prime Minister’s Office - Senior policy analyst

  • October 2007- August 2010 Ministry of Health - Policy Analyst

  • January 2010- University of Iceland - Part-time lecturer in the department of social work.

  • August 2005- 2006 Reykjavik’s University – Part time lecturer in the department of Public health and education.

  • April 2004-January 2007 World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe – Technical Officer – Mental Health Programme.

  • August 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) HQ Geneva– Temporary Advisor for Mental health and substance dependency dpt.

  • June 2003 till August 2003 WHO – Internship in Mental Health and Substance Dependency Department (MSD).

  • Sept. 2001 – Sept. 2002 University of Iceland - Part-time lecturer in dpt. of medicine.

  • June 1999 – August 2002 The Icelandic Mental Health Promotion Project [Geðrækt] – Entrepreneur and Project Manager.

  • Mai 1999 – Sept. 1999 Decode Genetics – consultant.

  • April 1996 – Sept. 1997 University Hospital – psychiatric wards.



  • Commendation and recognition on behalf of the WHO and WFMH for a best practice in mental health promotion with the project “Geðrækt” in September 2004.

Consultancy and published materials

  • Vertu úlfur – wargus esto. JPV 2015.

  • Policy Making and planning within ministries: Ways to simplify and coordinate. 1. issue. 8 vol. 2012 – Stjórnmál og stjórnsýsla.

  • Governance network: Innovation within the Civil Service: New procedures in cooperation between levels of government. 1. issue. 8 vol. 2012 - Stjórnmál og stjórnsýsla.

  • Consultant to Saga Film (a production company) on series of tv programmes related to mental health (Heimsendi). (2010-2011).

  • Participation in the mental health council of the Nordic council (2009-2010).

  • Chairman of the advisory group of the Icelandic Ministry of Social Affairs to the process of de-institutionalisation and moving the services of mentally ill people to the society.

  • Mental health: Facing the challenges, building solutions Report from the WHO European Ministerial Conference, two “briefing sheets” and member of a team that constructed the declaration and action plan. http://www.euro.who.int/InformationSources/Publications/Catalogue/20050912_1

  • In 2002. Translation and editing of: “All you need to know about living with depression” into Icelandic. A book published by Edda. http://edda.is/net/products.aspx?pid=465

  • World Health Organization (2004) Case study “Geðrækt a horizontal approach to mental health promotion in Iceland” http://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/en/case_studies_report.pdf

  • University of Iceland (2005) ‘Dis-ease’ & ‘ease’, a dichotomous approach to mental health in modern times. A critical analysis of proposed EU mental health indicators

  • The Icelandic journal of mental health (2011). “mental health in Iceland – current policy status and possible developments – a policy analysis”