The director of the Institute is Guðrún Nordal, professor in medieval Icelandic literature.
Guðrún Nordal finished a B.A. degree in Icelandic studies from the University of Iceland in 1982, studied at the Germanistik department at the Ludwig Maximiliens Universität München in the years 1982-1983, and finished a d. phil from Oxford University (Christ Church College) in the year 1988.
Guðrún was a lecturer at the University College London 1990-3, a research scholar at Stofnun Árna Magnússonar á Íslandi from 1993, and a researcher at the Institute 1997-2001. She became a assistant professor in Medieval Icelandic literature at the Department of Icelandic Studies at the University of Iceland from 2001, and a professor from the year 2005. She has served on many governmental committes and boards, is currently the chair of the Science Committee of the Science and Technology Policy Council in Iceland, and a chair of the boards of The Icelandic Research Fund and NordForsk.