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)


Bill White 1 year ago
While living in Oslo and working at Aker Engineering in the early 1990's I rented an apartment in Aker Brygge on the plaza from a young man named Sjarten Aas (hope I spelled his name correctly). Should you know this gentleman I would appreciate you passing my email address along and tell him it would be my pleasure to hear from him.
Anna Sjogren 1 year ago
I too am a carpenter's child who "made good," three Ivy degrees so far, first woman tax partner of a large law firm. .. . I may be Swedish:-), but I always feel happy to hear that folks like you have risen above your station in life to achieve so much! Keep up the good work. I hope to hear more at the Rainier Club event in Seattle. . . .
Alton C . Thompson, Ph. D. 2 years ago
Dear Mr. Ambassdor, As one with a Norwegian heritage, I am proud of Norway’s current No. 1 ranking! I am also proud of my great-great grandfather, (The information there is incomplete, because it omits my great-grandfather, Tjøstolv and his four brothers.) It has been said of him that he paid for the passage of 60 people in addition to his family members in coming over (passport dated 1852) from the Tvedestrand area on his way to Mt. Morris, Wisconsin. Can you help me find proof of this wonderful “fact”? It would me “the world” to me!!

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