Benson Whitney

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Benson K. Whitney
Benson K. Whitney.jpg
United States Ambassador to Norway
In office
November 28, 2005 – October 21, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by John D. Ong
Succeeded by Barry B. White
Personal details
Born (1956-08-17) August 17, 1956 (age 60)
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary
Relations Wheelock Whitney I (Grandfather)
Wheelock Whitney II (Father)
Wheelock Whitney III (Brother)
Alma mater Vassar College
University of Minnesota Law School
Profession Jurist

Benson Kelley Whitney (born August 17, 1956 in Saint Paul, Minnesota)[1] was the United States Ambassador to Norway from 2006 to 2009.

Early life and education[edit]

Whitney grew up in Minnesota branch of the prominent American Whitney family and is of close relation to Vanderbilt family. He graduated high school from Verde Valley School in Sedona, AZ in 1974. He graduated with a B.A. from Vassar College magna cum laude in Poughkeepsie, New York and a JD from the University of Minnesota Law School magna cum laude. While at Minnesota he was an editor of the Law Review and member of the Order of the Coif.


Whitney went on to practice law with Popham, Haik, Schnobrich, and Kaufman Ltd. where he specialized in regulatory industries such as health care, cable television and election law. He became the managing general partner of the Gideon Hixon Fund, an evergreen venture capital fund which focused on early-stage technology and health care companies in Minnesota and California. He was elected president of the Minnesota Venture Capital Association. He was also chief executive officer of Whitney Management Company, a private investment advisory firm. Whitney's entrance into politics came in 2004, where he was the Minnesota executive director and finance chair for the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign, as well as Minnesota finance chair for the Republican National Committee.

U.S. Ambassador to Norway[edit]

Benson K. Whitney was nominated as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway by President George W. Bush on September 23, 2005. His nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 28, 2005, and he was sworn in by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on November 28, 2005. He presented his credentials to King Harald V of Norway on January 12, 2006.

Personal life[edit]

Whitney has been a trustee, director, chairman or advisor of a number of non-profits including the Guthrie Theater, Wilderness Inquiry, Persephone Fund, Headwaters Fund, Minnesotans for Term Limits, and the Minneapolis Academy. He is a member of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis where he has served as a liturgical minister. Whitney and his wife Mary have four children.[2] Benson is a descendant of the prominent American Whitney family and is of close relation to the Vanderbilt family.



  1. ^ USA roser norsk kamp mot terror Archived December 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Aftenposten, February 9, 2006, see pink fact book on right.
  2. ^ U.S. Embassy Oslo ‐ Public Affairs Newsletter, July 2009, p. 2.

External links[edit]

Media related to Benson Whitney at Wikimedia Commons

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John D. Ong
U.S. Ambassador to Norway
Succeeded by
Barry B. White