Swedish government announces new director-general of Migration Agency

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
Swedish government announces new director-general of Migration Agency
Inga Thoresson Hallgren. Photo: Björn Bjarnesjö/Migrationsverket

Inga Thoresson Hallgren, currently deputy director-general, will take over from current director-general Mikael Ribbenvik when his contract ends at the end of May.


Hallgren is chair of the board at the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority and has held various advisor roles in the Business Ministry between 2007 and 2018 – first under the Moderate-led Fredrik Reinfeldt government and later under Social Democrat prime minister Stefan Löfven.

Unlike her predecessor, who has worked at the Migration Agency for the last 24 years, Hallgren is relatively new to the agency: she first started working there in 2018.

After Sweden's government announced in April that Ribbenvik's contract was not going to be extended, Björn Söder, a Sweden Democrat MP and member of the parliament's defence committee, celebrated the decision. 

"Time to tidy up Agency Sweden," Söder wrote on Twitter. "Kick the asylum activists out of the agency."

Ribbenvik described this to The Local as an "absurd accusation" in an interview for our Sweden in Focus podcast.


"The criticism against the Migration Agency throughout the years has always been that we are too harsh, that we are too square and that we just we just think about the law, not about people – which is true, because the purpose of an agency is to follow the law. So to have that at the last minute was quite amusing actually," said Ribbenvik in the interview.


Ribbenvik did not wish to give advice to his successor – whose identity was not public knowledge at the time of our interview – but did say that there was one quality he believed was essential to anyone in the position:

"You can't have a thin skin," he said. "I'm quite a thin-skinned person privately, but in work, you can't be, because it will eat you up. No matter who you are, you will always be criticised and you will be criticised from all different angles."

"Some jobs are easy, because you get massive criticism, but only from one direction," he continued. "Here it comes from all directions. It's up, down, left, right – all angles." 

Hallgren will serve as acting director-general from June 1st, 2023, until a replacement is found.


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