After an extensive career in the Norwegian Foreign Service and politics, previously Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Kim Traavik now has what he calls his dream job.
Ambassador Traavik describes Norway and Britain as likeminded societies and London as a great location for Norwegians. “The city is an attraction in itself. It is not only Britain’s capital, but a world capital as well. People from all over the world come together here. It is a culturally diverse city, and the mixture of people in the city is very exciting. I think it is easy to adjust to life here as a Norwegian. Norwegians and Englishmen speak the same language, if you will. They share the same sense of humor and a lot of the same references. Norway and Britain are like-minded nations, and cooperate well in peace making and other operations.”
-How would you describe your way into this position?
“In a way this is a childhood dream come true. I have had a long career in the Foreign Service, and I have dreamed about working as the Ambassador in London for some time. There are many reasons for this. Britain and Norway have a very close relationship, and London is a fantastic place to live and work.”
Life as an Ambassador
Traavik says that there is no such thing as a typical day at the office, since everyday is different. But meetings with high-ranking representatives of the British society and Government are regular items on his schedule. His work also includes a lot of events that aim to stimulate interest in Norwegian trade, as well as cultural events to promote Norwegian artists, musicians, and writers. He also makes a lot of public presentations. “I am the ranking representative of the Norwegian Government in Britain. For me, it is essentially about promoting Norwegian interests across the board; politically, economically and culturally. . We advocate both economic and cultural exchange. This is a very diverse job, with a lot of variety and dealing with important issues,” says Traavik.
Traavik explains that Britain and Norway are very important to each other. “Norway and Britain have ties that go a long way back, and they were further strengthened during World War II. Today, Norway is Britain’s biggest supplier of energy. This includes both gas and oil imports. Naturally, in this regard we are important to Britain. At the same time Britain is Norway’s most important trading partner. Besides Norway being relatively well known in Britain, there is generally a big interest in all things Scandinavian here. This has something to do with Britain’s fascination with the crime novels of Jo Nesbø and other Nordic writers as well as popular television series such as the Danish-Swedish production The Bridge.”
BIO Kim Traavik (1946-)
- Kim Traavik was appointed Norwegian Ambassador in London in April 2010
- Graduated in 1973 with a degree in political science from the University of Oslo
- Joined the Norwegian Foreign Service in 1977, and has previously worked in Finland and the Norwegian Mission to the UN in New York
- Between 1987 to 1989 he was part of the Norwegian Delegation to NATO in Brussels
- Was Deputy Head of the Norwegian Delegation to the EU between 1994 and 1997
- Was in 1997 appointed Ambassador and was responsible for the preparation and execution of Norway’s chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1999
- Was state secretary of the Conservatives for Kjell Magne Bondevik’s second government until October 2005 and served as Deputy Secretary of State
- After years as a politician in the Ministry Traavik went back to the Foreign Service. In 2006 he was appointed Ambassador at the Permanent Delegation to NATO
- Was in 2007 appointed commander of The Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (Den Kongelige Norske Fortjenstorden)
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