Grete Faremo

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Person.png Grete Faremo  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Born16 June 1955
Alma materUniversity of Oslo
Member ofTrilateral Commission
PartyNorwegian Labour Party

Employment.png Norway/Minister of Justice

In office
November 2011 - October 2013

Employment.png Norway/Minister of Defence

In office
October 2009 - November 2011

Employment.png Norway/Minister of International Development

In office
November 1990 - September 1992

Employment.png Norway/Minister of Petroleum and Energy

In office
October 1996 - December 1996

Grete Faremo is a former Norwegian politician, lawyer and business leader. Since August 2014, she has held the post of Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Business Career

She entered public service 1979, joining the Ministry of Finance as a Legal Officer. She then went on to work as a Legal Officer in the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (1980-1984). Following this, she was appointed Head of Division of the Ministry of Development and left in 1986 to take up a new position as Chief Negotiator at property management company. In 1990 she became a director in the Norwegian Arbeiderpresse (now known as Amedia) media group.

In 1997, Faremo became Executive Vice-President of Storebrand, a Norwegian financial services company. She left in 2004 to take on the role as Director of Law, Corporate Affairs and Public Relations at Microsoft Corporation's North Europe Office and later Western Europe Office, where she developed the legal and public affairs division responsible for corporate compliance in the region. She stepped down in 2008. She was also a partner at an independent consulting firm, Rådgiverne LOS AS, for short period in 2009, before she joined the Government.

Faremo has also sat on various advisory boards and associations throughout her career, including as a member of the Press Council from 1998 to 2004, Chairman of Statnett SF (2000-2005), Chairman of the Norwegian People's Aid (2003-2007), Deputy Chairman of Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt (Defence Research) (2006-2009), Deputy Chairman of Norsk Hydro ASA (2006-2009), Board Member of COWI AS (2008-2009), Chairman of the Norwegian Health SF in 2009, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Bergen.

Political Career

On 3 November 1990, Faremo was appointed Minister of International Development as part of Gro Harlem Brundtland’s Third Cabinet. She held this post for two years before being promoted to Minister of Justice and Public Security in September 1992. The following year, in the 1993 Norwegian parliamentary elections, Faremo was elected to the Storting, representing the Oslo constituency. Before this, she was a member of the Oslo City Council from 1987 to 1991.

She continued as Justice Minister until the cabinet reshuffle in October 1996, where she was asked by newly appointed Prime Minister Thorbjørn Jagland to take over the Petroleum and Energy portfolio. However, just two months after her appointment, Faremo was forced to resign from the cabinet following the Berge Furre affair, which had revealed that the Norwegian Police Security Service were illegally spying on Socialist Left Party politician, Berge Furre, while he was a member of the Lund Commission – a parliamentary group appointed to investigate allegations of illegal surveillance of Norwegian citizens.

The illegal surveillance of Furre took place at the same time that Faremo was Justice Minister. She therefore took political responsibility for the scandal. Faremo resigned from the cabinet on 18 December 1996, but continued in her role as a Member of the Norwegian Parliament until the following general election in 1997 when she did not seek re-election.[1]

Return to government as Minister of Defence

After working in the private sector for 12 years, Faremo returned to Norwegian politics when she was appointed Minister of Defence under Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s Second Cabinet. During her time as Defence Minister, she headed the preparation of a new long-term plan for Norwegian defence, which formed the basis for the new Air Force organization, including the purchase of new F35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin.

Minister of Justice following the 2011 Norway attacks

Facing mounting pressure in the aftermath of the 2011 Norway Anders Behring-Breivik attacks over the state of the police and security, the incumbent Justice Minister, Knut Storberget, announced his resignation. Faremo took over the Ministry on 11 November 2011, tasked with strengthening the Norwegian emergency system. This involved the establishment of a new structure, new communication systems, and clear chains of command for crisis management and communications. A thorough analysis of the police, commissioned by Faremo, formed the basis for reforms in the Norwegian police structur]

Faremo lost her position as Minister of Justice following the 2013 Norwegian parliamentary election in which her coalition lost.

Executive Director of United Nations Office for Project Services

On 7 May 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Faremo as the Under-Secretary-General and new Executive Director of the UNOPS.

During her first year, UNOPS continued to grow its services and continued its work with a range of international partners, including with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Syria, where UNOPS plays an important role in supporting the verification and monitoring activities of the OPCW (including suporting false false attacks see: Douma).

UNOPS has also worked closely with the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Governments of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to address the needs of communities and health workers affected by the Ebola Virus Disease, as part of larger recovery efforts in the region.[2]

In June 2015, Faremo travelled to Honduras where UNOPS signed a new agreement with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE). The new agreement will see UNOPS and the BCIE work closely together to increase the ability of Central American countries to effectively design, implement and manage public projects as well as public-private partnership initiatives.