Mæland led the Oslo chapter of the Workers' Youth League from 1979 to 1982, and was a central board member from 1983 to 1989. He was a member of Oslo city council from 1983 to 1986. During Brundtland's Second Cabinet, he was a personal secretary both in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1988-89) and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (1988).
In 1994, during the Brundtland's Third Cabinet, Mælend was a State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice. He held the position for the remainder of Brundtland's tenure, and then a year into Jagland's Cabinet under two different Ministers of Justice Anne Holt and Gerd-Liv Valla. In 2000, when another Labour cabinet Stoltenberg 1 took over, Mæland was again appointed State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice. He held that position until after the 2001 elections, which caused the cabinet to fall. He was also a member of the Norwegian Criminal Cases Review Commission.
On 13 August 2012 the Gjørv Report was released. It found that the authorities in general, and the police in particular, failed massively in protecting the public during the 2011 Norway attacks. Calls for Mæland's immediate resignation were repeatedly rejected. He fully accepted the criticism of the commission's findings and resigned on 16 August 2012.
Mæland was born in Rjukan, Telemark in 1960. He attended medical school and took the cand.med. degree in 1986, worked as a physician from 1989 to 1994 and 1997 to 2000, and was chief physician at Aker University Hospital before becoming head of division at Ullevål University Hospital in 2002. Between 1989 and 1990 he was the prison doctor at Ullersmo Prison.
- "Ny statssekretær i Justisdepartementet" (Press release) (in Norwegian). Government.no. 24 March 2000. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- Brenna, Jarle et al (11 May 2011). "Bare to vil bli politidirektør etter Killengreen". VG (in Norwegian). Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- "Øystein Mæland ny politidirektør". NRK. NTB. 27 May 2011. Archived from the original on 22 August 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/08/16/nyheter/innenriks/politiet/terror/22_juli_kommisjonen/22989726/ "Politidirektør Øystein Mæland og landets 27 politimestre aksepterer 22. juli-kommisjonens flengende kritikk."
- "Øystein Mæland". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
Vidar Refvik (acting)
|Director of the National Police Directorate
Odd Reidar Humlegård