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Odd-Inge Kvalheim

The Norwegian Labour Party
© Maurice Weiss/OSTKREUZ


I was born in 1963 in Bergen, Norway, the son of a traindriver and a shop-clerk. I joined the Foreign Service after my studies in 1991, and have been posted as a diplomat to a bunch of places (Abidjan, London, Berlin, New York, Washington, and Addis Abeba). In between I have been working in the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister`s Office. I have been a member of the Norwegian Labour Party for decades, and took up the post as International Secretary in the Labour Party HQ in 2014. I am married, have an 11 year old daughter and a 6 year old son.

What is the driving force for your political work?

Politics is where my values and interests meet. I believe in solidarity, and in being engaged beyond family, friends and neighbors. Social democracy is an international movement, and I have always been interested in global affairs, with its boundless dimensions. Politics is a murky affair, because compromises have to be made between so many preferences and priorities. Doing ones best to make a difference is still more attractive by far, than being content with simply having principled opinions and beautiful ideas.

In your opinion, what would a good life/good society look like

Personally, my idea of a good life has changed over time in tune with the stages of my life.  Now I simply cannot drink that much beer. A good society is one where kindness and attention to each other are more prominent than personal greed, one that facilitates human talent, potential and freedom.

What was the strangest thing happening to you?

Being born.