Mr. Gudbrandsson has an outstanding track record as an advocate for children´s rights. His early work in Iceland demonstrates his determination to safeguard the human rights of vulnerable groups in society. In 1982 he became the Director of Local Social Services and began to actively advocate for improved welfare services in Iceland. He became one of the founders of Barnaheill, Save the Children Iceland, in 1989. He was one of the main authors of the first Icelandic Act on Local Social Service in 1991, and appointed the Chair of the Expert Group that prepared the Act on Services for Persons with Disabilities in 1992. Both of these Acts explicitly addressed children´s rights to appropriate services with the aim to support parents and avoid out-of-home placement. As a political advisor to the Minister of Social Affairs, Mr. Gudbrandsson advocated for Iceland´s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 and contributed to the preparation of the Act on Children´s Ombudsman in Iceland in 1995. During the years 1992 to 1994 Mr. Gudbrandsson was the Chair of the National Committee for coordinating the activities for the UN International Year of the Family, which led to reform in child welfare legislation and the first Public Family Policy approved by the Icelandic Parliament.
Following changes in the Act on Child Welfare in 1995, the Government Agency for Child Protection in Iceland was established and Mr. Gudbrandsson was appointed the Director General, a position he held until March 1st, 2018. Mr. Gudbrandsson pioneered the Icelandic Barnahus (Children´s House) which opened in 1998. It began to attract international attention following the Royal visit of HM Queen Rania of Jordan to Iceland in 2000. Her Majesty invited Mr. Gudbrandsson to Amman where he shared his experience with experts in different sectors with the aim to enhance child protection work in Jordan.