KNUT VOLLEBAEK, CHAIR
Mr. Knut Vollebaek is a former Norwegian Ambassador to the United States of America (2001-2007) and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway (1997-2000). During his diplomatic and political career, he has also served as Assistant Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1994-1997); Director General, Department of Bilateral Co-operation (1994-1994); Norwegian Ambassador to the Central American States, based in Costa Rica (1991-1993); Deputy Minister (State Secretary) of Foreign Affairs (1989-1990); Director of UN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1986-1989); Norwegian Delegate to the UN General Assembly (1982-1983 and 1986-1988); and held diplomatic assignments in India, Spain and Zimbabwe.
Mr. Vollebaek has held a number of international positions, including Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (2013-); Primus inter Pares of the Panel of Eminent Persons on Strengthening of the Effectiveness of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (2005); Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (1999); Chairman of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (1999-2000); and Chairman of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (1997-1998).
He obtained his M.Sc. in Economics from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Bergen in 1972; honorary Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, St. Olaf College, Minnesota, USA in 2003; and, honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, Concordia College, Minnesota, USA in 2003.
He received Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 2000 and decorations from Costa Rica, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, the Netherlands, and Spain.
Since August 2013, he is heading the Norwegian Government’s Commission on Norwegian Travelers.