|Minister of Transport and Communications|
16 October 2013
|Prime Minister||Erna Solberg|
|Preceded by||Marit Arnstad|
|Member of the Norwegian Parliament
1 October 2005 – 30 September 2013
14 February 1972 |
Time, Rogaland, Norway
|Political party||Progress Party|
|Alma mater||University of Toledo|
|Religion||Christianity; associated with Pentecostalism|
Ketil Solvik-Olsen (born 14 February 1972) is a Norwegian politician who has been Minister of Transport and Communications in the Solberg cabinet and second deputy leader of the Progress Party since 2013.
Early life and education
Solvik-Olsen was born and raised in Time, Rogaland to self-employed businessman Aksel Emil Solvik-Olsen (born 1943) and socionom Berit Lagergren (born 1943). After finishing Rosseland elementary School, he attended Bryne Upper Secondary school, and later an International Baccalaureate at St. Olav Upper Secondary school in Stavanger from 1990 to 1992.
He was an exchange student to the United States at Blissfield High School, Michigan from 1989 to 1990. From 1994 to 1997 he studied political science and social economics (summa cum laude) at the University of Toledo, Ohio. He spent over five years in the US, including work for Disney, as a volunteer during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and as an intern in the United States Senate.
Solvik-Olsen joined the Progress Party's Youth when he was fifteen years old, in 1987. He held various positions locally within the youth organisation from 1988 to 1992. He made his way into national politics initially by working as a political advisor and aide to Øyvind Vaksdal and Siv Jensen for five years, having moved to Oslo around 1998.
Aside from being deputy in the Oslo city council, he had never before served as an elected official when he was elected to the Storting from Rogaland in 2005. He was re-elected in 2009. He was a member of the Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment from 2005 to 2011, and delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 2011.
In 2013 Solvik-Olsen was elected second deputy leader of the Progress Party.
Minister of Transportation and Communication
Before taking up the post, the Progress Party had announced that it would be reducing the amount of toll roads, and this was widely expected to be one of the most important transformation reforms. Despite immediately beginning to dismantle some existing toll booths, and cancelling some planned toll projects, there was disappointment among his party's core constituency over the slow pace of the reform.
Solvik-Olsen has stated that he thinks Norway needs a "liberalism that is pragmatic". He was noted as a critic of the Red-Green governmental environmental policies, claiming their policies to be based too much on "symbol politics" and unrealistic ambitious goals, instead of seeking feasible realistic options. He has said that he is personally social conservative, though is liberal with regards to how other people wish to live their lives.
He is married to Tone Solvik-Olsen, a medical doctor. Together they have two children, one girl and one boy. The family currently resides in the Voksenåsen neighborhood in the Oslo borough of Vestre Aker. Solvik-Olsen has described himself as an "atypical Progress Party-person" due to his relatively careful and modest lifestyle, not fitting several stereotypes of the traditional party supporter.
A lifelong teetoaler, he abstains from all stimulants, including tobacco, and coffee. He is however, a notorious aficionado of chocolate, an addiction which has been described as "morbid". He compensates the high-sugar diet by eating very small regular meals, and skipping lunch altogether. Since his stay in the United States, Solvik-Olsen has been a automobile enthusiast, his collection includes a second generation 1985 model Cadillac Seville, a convertible Dodge Stratus, in addition to over 80 Model cars. He is a supporter of Bryne FK football club.
Solvik-Olsen publicly announced his withdrawal from the Church of Norway in 2010, after the church leadership had publicly opposed oil exploration in Lofoten and Vesterålen. He is connected to Pentecostalism, as he for several years has attended the Pentecostal congregation Filadelfia. While his wife is a member of the congregation and his two children are baptised there, he is not a formal member himself since it requires a Believer's baptism, and he considers his childhood baptism to be valid and sufficient. He has stated that as of present he only has his personal direct contact with God, not being part of any "earthly membership lists".
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- "Ketil Solvik-Olsen". TV2 Nyhetene: Valg 2009.
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- Johansen, Robert. "Ketil Solvik-Olsen: - Ikke fortell noe negativt om meg". Aftenposten. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- Oppedal, Mathias (16 October 2013). "Rogalendingane dominerte på Slottsplassen". nrk.no. Retrieved 13 January 2014.