Grete Faremo, one of the many government ministers who lost their jobs after Norway’s former left-center government lost last fall’s national election, has accepted a new job as executive director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), headquartered in Copenhagen.
UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon announced Faremo’s high-level appointment on Wednesday in conjunction with UNOPS’ executive board. Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende said he was “pleased” that Norway “will now hold the top position in a UN organization that is so important for the UN’s development work in poor countries.”
The UN describes UNOPS as a central procurement resource for the UN. Norway’s foreign ministry calls it a “self-financing organization” with activities in 80 countries and more than 6,000 employees who provide assistance to the authorities and development organizations such as the World Bank and the UN Development Program regarding procurement, infrastructure development and capacity building.
Faremo, from the Labour Party, served as both justice minister and defense minister in the Stoltenberg government and has been a top politician in Norway for many years. After leaving an earlier Labour government, though, she worked for both insurance firm Storebrand and was a director for law and corporate affairs at Microsoft Corp in Oslo. She holds a master of law degree from the University of Oslo.
Faremo had earlier laid plans to start up her consulting and public relations firm after collecting maximum state severance pay equal to six months of her ministerial salary, amounting to nearly NOK 100,000 per month. She clearly changed her mind when the was offered the UN job.
She’ll replace Jan Mattsson of Sweden in the UN post.