The Hon. Halldór Ásgrímsson

Secretary General for the Nordic Council of Ministers; Former Prime Minister of Iceland

Biography

The Hon. Halldór Ásgrímsson is the former Prime Minister of Iceland and current Secretary General for the Nordic Council of Ministers, a position he has held since 2007. The Nordic Council of Ministers is an inter-governmental forum aimed at facilitating Nordic cooperation.  

Mr. Ásgrímsson obtained his graduate degrees from the Bergen and Copenhagen Universities of Commerce. Mr. Ásgrímsson also held a position as a Lecturer at the University of Iceland in the Economics and Business Administration Faculty between 1973 and 1975.

During his career, Mr. Ásgrímsson has held many prominent ministerial positions nationally, as well as internationally. Mr. Ásgrímsson began his ministerial career in 1983 as the Minister for Fisheries, and then served as the Minister for Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs from 1988 to1989. He was also the Minister for Nordic Cooperation between from 1985-1987 and 1995-1999, respectively. In 1995, Mr. Ásgrímsson became the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade & Defense and Foreign Aid, a position he held until 2004.

Mr. Ásgrímsson has chaired and been a member of many distinguished institutions. In 1997, he became a member of the World Bank’s Finance Committee, and then chaired the European Council’s Ministerial Commission in 1998. In the years 1996,1998,2000, and 2006, he further chaired both the EEA Council and the EFTA Council. From 2002-2004 Mr. Ásgrímsson was also the Chairman of the Arctic Council.

Mr. Ásgrímsson has also had an active role in the Progressive Party in Iceland, becoming its Vice Chairman in 1980 and then later becoming its Chairman in 1994. Mr. Ásgrímsson was appointed Prime Minister of Iceland in 2004, a position he held until 2006.