AĆ°alsteinn Leifsson, Assistant Professor

School:School of Social Sciences / Department of Business Administration / MBA 
Location:Room 324 (3rd floor Mars) 
Office hours:Tuesdays 13-14 and Thursdays 15-16 - or by appointment 
Phone:0041223322610   Mobile: 0041798453487 


London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
MSc European Studies

Heriot Watt University - Edinburgh Business School

University of Iceland
BA Political Science and Journalism

RU teaching record

2019-3V-733-EFNEEffective Negotiation
2018-3V-733-EFNEEffective Negotiation
2017-3V-733-EFNEEffective Negotiation
2017-1V-733-EFNEEffective Negotiation

Teaching outside RU

Executive Education - Reykjavik University
Managerial coaching in Negotiations and Decision Making

INIDEM (Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Empresea). Course on Negotiation in LLM program for practicing lawyers

Subject field

Negotiations. European Integration. Free Trade Agreements. WTO, EU, EFTA.

Business relations


Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), Iceland

Member of the Board of Metan ehf


Former appointments:

Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Reykjavik Energy, June 2010 – June 2010

Chairman of Policy Group for Foreign Direct Investment in Iceland, appointed by the Minister for Industry

Member of the Policy Group for EU relations, appointed by the Prime Minister, work concluded in 2009


Former employment:


Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs
1 August 2004 – 1 February 2005
External Trade Department
Area of responsibility: Multilateral (WTO) and bilateral free trade relations, various EEA matters.


European Free Trade Association - EFTA
2001 – 2004
SCD Division - Brussels
Area of responsibility: Budgetary Matters relating to payments from the EEA EFTA States to the EU, cooperation outside the four freedoms in the sphere of Entrepreneurship, Civil Protection and Tourism.


Delegation of the European Commission to Iceland and Norway
1998 - 2001
External Relations Directorate
Consultant and information officer

Recent contributions at conferences:


Speaker: Association of Businesses: Iceland and the EU
Speaker: Association of Icelandic Workers: Iceland and the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU. Chair: China and India in the World Economy. RUMBA Conference
Speaker and co-organiser: Reykjavik University and Federation of Icelandic Trade: Trade between Iceland and China
Speaker: Reykjavik University: The ISK or the EUR
Speaker: Association of Economists: Conference on Salary Negotiations
Speaker: Commercial Union of Iceland: National Congress. Lecture on gender differences in salary negotiations
Chair. Association of Economists: Conference on the euro and the Icelandic Economy
Speaker: The Pharmaceutical Society of Iceland: Gender differences in salary negotiations

Courses and coaching for businesses

Teaches courses on Negotiations in the Reykjavik University Executive Education for 10 - 15 businesses each year
See for example here







Recent publications and articles


Gender in Individual Salary Negotiations: Learning to counter-offer, Þjóðarspegill, 2010

Spurningar og svör um fríverslunarsamninga (Questions and answers on Free Trade Agreements)
Published by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

EFTA Bulletin: Activities and Financial Contributions under the EEA Agreement.


Recent articles in the business press on Negotiations


Byrja eða bíða? (Should I place the first bid?)

Valdið og dýrðin (The Power and the Glory)

Hvaða stíll er á þér? (What is your style?)

BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)

Blekkingar (Dirty tricks)

Traust (Trust)

Meira traust (More trust)

Samið í Kína (Negotiations in China)

Tölvupóstsamningar (E-mail negotiations)

Hjálp í viðlögum fyrir prúttmarkað (First Aid in a market square)

Virkjaðu neikvæðna mótaðilans (Use the opponents negativity)

Allar ferðir hefjast með einu skrefi (All journeys start with a single step)

Þegar titlar skipta máli (When titles matter)

Svarið er: Nei! (The answer is: No!)

Ef...þá (If...then)

Mikilvægustu samningaviðræðurnar (The most important negotiations)

Vertu ósammála! (Don´t agree!)

Samið við vini (Negotiations with friends)

Góðar stelpur semja ekki (Good Girls don´t negotiate)


Recent articles in the Business Press on International Trade


Evran lækkar húsnæðisvexti (Why the euro lowers interest rates on housing)


Recent interviews in the printed media


Allt er umsemjanlegt (Everything is negotiable)

Stöndum betur að vígi innan en utan viðskiptastefnu ESB (Better to be inside than outside the EU Trade Policy)