Norway's Ambassador to United States, Kare R. Aas, was given a warm welcome to Decorah on Wednesday. A crowd which included children from the Montessori school, Nordic Dancers, Nordic Studies students of Luther College, and residents greeted Ambassador Aas.
Aas was born May 25, 1955. He is from the T°yen neighborhood in Oslo and is the son of a construction worker. He was initially ticketed for vocational school, but was able to talk his way into a more academic setting.
Aas told decorahnews.com he was a "lousy pupil" the first years of school, not focusing on his studies. When all his friends entered high school, he was not allowed to enter high school, because of poor grades. He had to go to vocational school, which he didn't manage well either, not having technical skills. "I went back to retake my last year and there was a very good principal at the school who said, "You can come back on one condition, you have to cut your hair," as his hair was to his shoulders. Aas got a haircut and went back to school the next day.
Aas joined the foreign ministry in 1983 and his early years included postings in Santiago, Chile, and Geneva, Switzerland. In 1995, Aas was made deputy director in the foreign affairs ministry and the following year he was sent to Brussels as a minister in Norway's delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, remaining there until 2001.
Aas returned to Oslo to work in the foreign ministry. In 2003 he was chosen to head the ministry's security department. In that role, he managed bilateral relationships with the United States, Russia and central Asian republics. From 2005 to 2007, Aas was Norway's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors.