Cristina Lindberg Ghimpu – Empowering International Talent through Expats & Friends


You have quite the international career, with locations including Romania, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, and now Skellefteå, Sweden. What about Skellefteå, compared with all the other places you have lived and worked, convinced you that this was the place to call home?

I moved to Skellefteå in 2011 for a family life and that has not changed since then. The feeling of a safe environment, well-being with focus on life particularities, hobbies, closeness to nature, learning the language and making local friends, and knowing more about the culture and history of the place were enough reasons to be around the world but still to feel at home.


Your current “day job” is as a sales engineer for the Alimak Group, but you are also the chairperson for the nonprofit, Expats and Friends. Can you tell us a little bit about Expat & Friends and why you have chosen to give so much of your time to the nonprofit?

Expats and Friends Skellefteå (EFA) was founded in 2014 and today registers 60 nationalities and 2000 members across our media platforms and association. EFA Skellefteå has become a world map for people to pin the location of their origins. The mission and vision are to ‘welcome, integrate and increase the sense of belonging in a multicultural environment.’ EFA has grown into a social forum that provides information, activities, services and guidance to both domestic and international talent and their families that are relocating to the region. 

My involvement in the association is partially due to my experience of the moving process and setting up a new life. Furthermore, I have a strong sense of community and believe that everyone can have a positive impact wherever they are. That is why I try to raise awareness with respect to global talents, empowering people and enabling them to voice their opinions. 


The current estimate is that we need to attract 100 000 new residents to northern Sweden to fulfill the promise of the green industrial revolution taking place here. If you could speak directly to some of those talents considering making Skellefteå their new home, what would you say to make them take the leap?

Every decision of settling down abroad has its ups and downs. If you value life in small details, appreciate warm people and small communities, want time for recreation, enjoy being outdoors during the summer as well in the winter, love wild food, white nights and northern lights, then Skellefteå is the place where a supportive community is ready to welcome everyone from the business professional to the romantic follower.


It’s almost impossible to comprehend the scale of the projects that are planned for this city and region, especially as it relates to developing game changing green technologies like fossil-free steel, batteries, and raw materials. With your front seat view of this transition leading Expat & Friends, where do you think Skellefteå will be in 10 years?

We are talking about the demand of a full-scale regional development, where Skellefteå wants good things to evolve and be a change maker with an open-minded leadership, willing to move borders and embrace a growth mindset. With that in mind, in 10 years from now, we will face a competitive environment, with top green technologies, a strong business sector and solid international talent retention initiative.