Mr. Knut Vollebæk was born 11 February 1946 in Oslo. He is a distinguished Norwegian diplomat and politician.
Mr. Vollebæk served as the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities from 2007 to 2013. Prior to that, Mr. 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.
Mr. 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. In September 2013 he became a commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).