Norway’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Kåre Aas?

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Kåre R. Aas, a veteran of Norway’s foreign ministry, presented his credentials as his nation’s ambassador to the United States to President Barack Obama on September 17, 2013. It’s the second ambassadorial posting for Aas.


Aas was born May 25, 1955. He is from the Tøyen neighborhood in Oslo and is the son of a construction worker. He was initially ticketed for vocational school, but was able to talk his way into a more academic setting. Aas joined the foreign ministry in 1983 and his early years there included postings in Santiago, Chile, and Geneva, Switzerland.


In 1995, Aas was made deputy director in the foreign affairs ministry, and the following year he was sent to Brussels as a minister in Norway’s delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, remaining there until 2001.


Aas returned to Oslo to work in the foreign ministry. In 2003 he was chosen to head the ministry’s security department. In that role, he managed bilateral relationships with the United States, Russia and central Asian republics. From 2005 to 2007, Aas was Norway’s representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors.


In 2008, Aas won his first posting as an ambassador, to Afghanistan. Much of his work there involved seeing that Norway’s funding for school construction was put to good use. Aas returned to Oslo in 2010 to become political director for the foreign ministry. He served in that role until being appointed to the Washington post. The oil business is important to Norway, so Aas’ first trip after coming to the United States was to Houston, where he met with energy company officials.


Norway traditionally provides the Christmas tree for Washington’s Union Station. For his first Christmas in Washington, Aas had the tree decorated with 700 reflectors with an image of “The Scream”, the iconic painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. It’s Norwegian custom to have children wear reflectors so they’re able to be seen in the dark.


Aas has four children; three daughters and one son. He makes a point of getting up early to go for a run through the streets of Washington.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Official Biography

Our Man In Washington (by Eivind Saether, Dagens Naeringliv)


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