Torbjørn Røe Isaksen

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Torbjørn Røe Isaksen
Røe Isaksen in 2018.
Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion
In office
24 January 2020 – 14 October 2021
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded byAnniken Hauglie
Succeeded byHadia Tajik
Minister of Trade and Industry
In office
17 January 2018 – 24 January 2020
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded byMonica Mæland
Succeeded byIselin Nybø
Minister of Education and Research
In office
26 November 2017 – 17 January 2018
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded byHenrik Asheim (acting)
Succeeded byJan Tore Sanner
In office
16 October 2013 – 15 September 2017
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded byKristin Halvorsen
Succeeded byHenrik Asheim (acting)
Minister of Fisheries
In office
2 March 2020 – 13 March 2020
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded byGeir-Inge Sivertsen
Succeeded byOdd Emil Ingebrigtsen
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
1 October 2009 – 30 September 2017
DeputySolveig Sundbø Abrahamsen
Leader of the Young Conservatives
In office
20 June 2004 – 22 June 2008
First DeputyTorkild Haukaas
Sunniva Flakstad Ihle
Henrik Asheim
Second DeputyHarald Victor Hove
Henrik Asheim
Stefan Heggelund
Preceded byIne Marie Eriksen
Succeeded byHenrik Asheim
Personal details
Born (1978-07-28) 28 July 1978 (age 45)
Ålesund, Møre og Romsdal, Norway
Political partyConservative
Henriette Ringnes
(m. 2011)
Alma materUniversity of Oslo

Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (born 28 July 1978) is a Norwegian politician, MP for the Conservative Party who served as Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion from 2020 to 2021.[1] He previously served as Minister of Trade and Industry from 2018 to 2020 and Minister of Education and Research from October 2013 to January 2018; except from September to November 2017 when he was on parental leave and his duties were undertaken by Henrik Asheim.


Early career[edit]

Isaksen edited the newspaper Xtra, published by the Young Conservatives (Unge Høyre), the youth wing of the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2004, and he was the leader of the Young Conservatives from 2004 to 2008. Prior to entering politics full-time, Isaksen worked as a freelance journalist and was the political editor in the gazette Minerva. Isaksen holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Oslo. His master's thesis was on Friedrich Hayek.[2]

In 2007, he was named Norway's most talented young politician by VG.[3]

In 2008, he published the book The Right Turn. For a New Conservatism, which was printed in three editions.


Hailing from Porsgrunn, he served as a deputy representative to the Norwegian Parliament from Telemark during the 2005–2009 term.[4] In the 2009 election he was the top candidate for the Telemark Conservatives and was elected to the parliament for the first time.


Isaksen served as minister throughout Erna Solberg’s tenure as prime minister, although heading different ministries.

Minister of Education[edit]

Following the 2013 election, Isaksen was appointed minister of education in Solberg’s cabinet. He retained the post following the 2017 election, but was on leave from 15 September to 26 November. He then held the post until the Liberal Party joined the government on 17 January 2018.

Minister of Trade and Industry[edit]

After the Liberal Party joined the government on 17 January 2018, Isaksen was appointed minister of trade and industry.

On 27 June, he announced that the Norwegian state would withdraw from its ownership of SAS, which included 9,88% of the stocks in the company. He stated: “SAS has had a positive development recently, and I have great faith that the company will work purposefully to further improve its competitive position. We believe this is a good time to sell out of the company”. He went on to say: “There is no reason to believe that changed ownership will affect workplaces, grids or other operational conditions in the company. The current structure is already the result of commercial assessments by the company, and not of state ownership”.[5]

In late March 2019, Isaksen expressed support for the permanent solution of having only summer time, instead of both standard and summer time.[6]

Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion[edit]

Isakaen was appointed minister of labour and social inclusion on 24 January 2020 after the Progress Party withdrew from government.

After Geir-Inge Sivertsen resigned as Minister of Fisheries in March 2020, Isaksen was acting minister for eleven days before Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen’s appointment.[7][8]

On 27 May 2020, he stated to Minerva that he was not intending to stand for the 2021 election, and that he would be stepping down from politics all together. His reasoning was to focus more on his family.[9]

On 6 October, an article from NRK revealed that in a meeting, a few[10] days after 10 July 2019, Isaksen gave an exception to a regulation when he was minister of trade and industry. The exception benefited two voyages by MS Roald Amundsen. The day after, the trade unions LO, Sjømannsforbundet and Norsk Sjøoffisersforbund have requested an urgent meeting with Iselin Nybø, Isaksen’s successor.[11] Hege-Merethe Bengtsson, a lawyer and a leader of the trade union Det norske maskinistforbund, claimed that Isaksen had no authority to make that exception to rules and regulations.[12]

On 20 September 2021, Røe Isaksen condemned a knife attack at Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration offices in Bergen. To the press, he stated: “It is a very tragic event. There is one person killed and one injured. Our thoughts now go to those who are relatives and those who are colleagues. The police will now be allowed to do their investigative work, but it is only natural that the case should be reviewed by us and NAV to see if there is anything that needs to be improved or done”. He also emphasised that it was unfortunate that threats were a daily occurrence among some working groups.[13]

After Jonas Gahr Støre formed his cabinet in the aftermath of the 2021 election, Røe Isaksen was succeeded by Hadia Tajik.

After politics[edit]

On 15 December 2021, Røe Isaksen resigned from the Conservative Party to become the social editor at E24.[14]


  • T.R. Isaksen and N. Astrup; Velferd etter velferdsstaten
  • T.R. Isaksen; Høyre om (2008)
  • T.R. Isaksen with Henrik Syse; Conservatism, an anthology With translated texts from amongst others Augustin, Edmund Burke, Joseph de Maistre, Konrad Adenauer and Roger Scruton (2011)


  1. ^ "Slik er Solberg-regjeringen 4.0" (in Norwegian). NRK. 24 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  2. ^ Nyhagen, Christine Skogen (20 May 2009). "Skrev masteroppgaven på 20 dager" (in Norwegian). Universitas. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  3. ^ FAKTA: Torbjørn Røe Isaksen Archived 2013-02-23 at Varden, 11 December 2009, retrieved 10 January 2013
  4. ^ "Torbjørn Røe Isaksen" (in Norwegian). Storting.
  5. ^ "Staten har solgt seg ut av SAS" (in Norwegian). 27 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  6. ^ "Søvnforsker vil ikke ha sommertid: Tenk på døgnrytmen" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 28 March 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Torbjørn Røe Isaksen tar midlertidig over som fiskeriminister" (in Norwegian). TV 2. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Melby ny kunnskapsminister" (in Norwegian). Adresseavisen. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Torbjørn Røe Isaksen stiller ikke til valg til Stortinget neste høst" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Her stopper Hurtigruten i 45 minutter – det endrer timelønna om bord til en brøkdel". 6 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Ber om hastemøte med næringsminister Iselin Nybø om Hurtigruten". 7 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Ber om hastemøte med næringsminister Iselin Nybø om Hurtigruten". 7 October 2020.
  13. ^ "Kvinne døde av skadene etter knivangrep på Nav-kontor" (in Norwegian). Nettavisen. 20 September 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  14. ^ "Torbjørn Røe Isaksen melder seg ut av Høyre: – Det er jo vemodig" (in Norwegian). NRK Vestfold og Telemark. 15 December 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2021.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Norwegian Young Conservatives
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Education and Research
Succeeded by
Henrik Asheim (acting)
Preceded by
Henrik Asheim (acting)
Minister of Education and Research
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Trade and Industry
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion
Succeeded by