Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–1961) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1961 for his peacekeeping work in the UN.
Dag Hammarskjöld got his degree 1925 at Uppsala University in different subjects including history, linguistics and literature. Further studies led to degrees in economics, law and a Doctor’s degree in economics 1934.
Dag Hammarskjöld worked as State Secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Finance and was active at Riksbanken, the Swedish Central Bank. During the years 1949–1951 he was State Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and in 1951 he became a non-political minister. In 1953 he was elected Secretary-General of the UN for a five-year period, and again in 1957 for another period.
As Secretary-General he worked to make the UN more independent and more politically active. In that role he celebrated several personal diplomatic triumphs, including the Suez Crisis, where he set up the first peacekeeping forces. It was Dag Hammarskjöld who introduced UN presence in conflict zones as a new method in the UN’s work. He was also author and translator, and member of the Swedish Academy. Dag Hammarskjöld died in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia) 1961 in an attempt to solve the on-going Congo Crisis. The same year he was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Today: The Department of Peace and Conflict Research was formed in 1971 to conduct research and provide education on the causes and dynamics of conflicts, peace processes and sustainable peace. The first Dag Hammarskjöld professorship in peace and conflict research was appointed 1985. The unique Conflict Data Program in Uppsala collects freely available information about all on-going conflicts and is used all over the world in research, education and media.