Knut Vollebæk

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Knut Vollebæk
Vollebaek Knut.jpg
Norwegian Ambassador to the United States
In office
17 April 2001 – 17 April 2007
Preceded by Tom Vraalsen
Succeeded by Wegger Christian Strømmen
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
17 October 1997 – 17 March 2000
Monarch Harald V
Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik
Preceded by Bjørn Tore Godal
Succeeded by Thorbjørn Jagland
Personal details
Born (1946-02-11) 11 February 1946 (age 72)
Oslo, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Political party Norwegian Christian Democratic Party
Alma mater Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration
Profession Ambassador

Knut Vollebæk (born 11 February 1946 in Oslo) is a former Norwegian diplomat to the United States, (2001-2007,[1] and centrist politician (Norwegian Christian Democratic Party). He is currently a member of the International Commission on Missing Persons Board of Commissioners and heads a government commission investigating the situation of Norwegian Travellers.


He was educated at the Norwegian School of Economics. He also attended the University of Oslo and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as completing studies in the French language and culture at Institut Catholique de Paris and in the Spanish language and culture at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.


In September 2013, he was elected to the Board of Commissioners of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

Vollebæk was the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities from 2007 until 2013.

Prior to that, Vollebæk served as Ambassador to the United States between 2001 and 2007 and as Foreign Minister of Norway from 1997 to 2000. He was Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 1999.

Vollebæk's diplomatic career includes assignments to New Delhi, Madrid and Harare. He was Norwegian Ambassador to Costa Rica in 1991-1993 and Assistant Secretary General at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1994 until he became Foreign Minister in 1997. He served as Deputy Co-Chairman of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia in 1993.

He was appointed Primus inter pares of the Panel of Eminent Persons on Strengthening the Effectiveness of the OSCE in 2005. He was Chairman of the Council of the Baltic Sea States in 1999–2000 and Chairman of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council in 1997–1998. Between October 1989 and November 1990, he was the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway.


  1. ^ "United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security". Retrieved December 5, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Bjørn Tore Godal
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Thorbjørn Jagland
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Tom Vraalsen
Norwegian Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Wegger Christian Strømmen
Preceded by
Rolf Ekéus
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
Succeeded by
Astrid Thors