Mogens Lykketoft is an economist by training and a veteran Danish parliamentarian and government minister.
He served as President of the United Nations General Assembly, from September 2015 to September 2016 during the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Since then, he has devoted most of his time to work and call for urgent action on sustainable development in general and climate action in particular.
In September 2020 he was appointed chairman of the board of Energinet, the Danish National Transmission network for electricity and gas – a main actor and investor in the ambitious Green Transition in Denmark.
He is member of the Presidium of UNICEF Denmark.
Lykketoft was born in Copenhagen on 9 January 1946. In the second part af the 1960es he was leader of the Social Democratic Student Movement, FRIT FORUM.
In 1971 he graduated as an economist from University of Copenhagen. Both before and after, he worked with the Economic Council of the Danish Labor Movement – an economic think-tank established by the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions and the Social Democratic Party. From 1975-1981 he was head of department there.
In 1981, at age 35, he was appointed minister for taxation and was elected member of Parliament.
1981-2019 he was MP – elected during twelve consecutive general elections.
From 1982 to 1993, while his party was in opposition, Lykketoft chaired several parliamentary committees and was the key negotiator with the center-right government on economic policy and budgets. He was parliamentary spokesperson for his party from 1991 to 1993
He served as Cabinet Minister for almost eleven years all together.
For nearly eight years he was Finance Minister from 1993 to 2000, when he spearheaded economic reforms that led to a rise in employment rates and a strengthened economy. He served as Foreign Minister from 2000 to 2001.
He was chairman of the Social Democratic Party from 2002 to 2005, and thus opposition leader in Parliament.
From 2005-2011 he was foreign policy spokesman for his party, served as member of the Public Accounts Committee and vice-president of Parliament
2011-2015 he was Speaker (president) of the Danish Parliament.
Lykketoft was – together with the Liberal former foreign minister Uffe Ellemann Jensen – a regular foreign affairs analyst and commentator with Danish TV2 News 2010-2016, appearing on the weekly news magazine Ellemann & Lykketoft. 2017-2021 the two had a similar program at Danish TV-channel DK4
I 2019 Lykketoft published his memoirs ‘Erindringer – holdning og handling’. Over the years he has written several books and countless articles, op-eds, commentaries and opinion pieces – i.a. on equality, economic democracy, taxation policy, ‘The Danish Model’ about the history of the welfare system.
He has also written a great number of articles and books on foreign and security policy – including several books that he co-authored with his wife, the Danish journalist and author, Mette Holm.
He has two daughters and five grandsons