Chair, Board of Regents
Rev. Stefan M. Jonasson
Stefan Jonasson is a journalist, historian, folklorist, and Unitarian minister. He is presently Editor of Lögberg-Heimskringla, the Icelandic community newspaper that has been published in Winnipeg since 1886. Prior to this, he was a member of the professional staff of the Boston-based Unitarian Universalist Association for 24 years, serving successively as District Executive for Western Canada, Director for Large Congregations, and Director of Growth Strategies. He also served as minister to the historically Icelandic Unitarian congregations in Arborg and Gimli, Manitoba.
A graduate of the University of Winnipeg, Stefan holds degrees in arts and theology. He won the University Gold Medal in Religious Studies in 1988 and the Governor General of Canada’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence in 1997. Since graduation, he has served as President of the University of Winnipeg Alumni Association and he is currently Vice Chair of the university’s Board of Regents.
Stefan is President of the Icelandic National League of North America. He is also a member of the Interfaith Roundtable in Winnipeg, the editorial board of Icelandic Connection magazine, and the board of directors of the St. James Scholarship Foundation. He frequently leads tours for Icelanders visiting Manitoba and has also been a guide for North American visitors to Iceland. He was the INLNA's International Visitor to Iceland in 2017.
He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 and he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon in 2019. Among his other honours are the Betty Gorshe Heritage Award for contributions to preserving, understanding, and celebrating Unitarian Universalist history and the Joan Inga Eyolfson Cadham Award for promotion of Icelandic culture and heritage through literature, arts, and media.
Stefan lives in Winnipeg with his wife, Cindy Nagamori Jonasson, although they spend as much time as they can at their country retreat in New Iceland. They have two adult daughters.
As an Icelandic Roots volunteer, Stefan serves as an expert on matters related to the church and clergy. He is currently working on several projects to help tell the story of Icelandic churches and clergy.