At a time when NATO is challenged by Russia’s continuing destabilization of Ukraine, faces a wide array of asymmetric security challenges, and seeks to navigate the transition in Afghanistan, the Alliance is also gearing up for a new Secretary General to lead NATO through this changing era of global competition and regional tensions.

The day after he stepped down as leader of the Norwegian Labour Party, H.E. Jens Stoltenberg, former prime minister of Norway, headed to Washington to begin his transition as NATO Secretary General-designate. On June 16, 2014, the Atlantic Council hosted Stoltenberg for an in-depth transition seminar. This off-the-record seminar included discussions of how to maintain NATO’s credibility, forge partnerships, engage globally, and prepare for the future. In addition to the seminar, the Council partnered with the Embassy of Norway to organize strategy discussions with opinion-makers and a series of meetings on Capitol Hill.

Jens Stoltenberg was appointed Prime Minister for the first time in 2000, at the age of 40. He stepped down after the election the following year and was leader of the opposition until 2005, when he once again became Prime Minister, this time for a coalition government, a position he held through two terms until October 2013. Prior to being elected prime minister, Stoltenberg served as State Secretary for the Environment, Minister of Trade and Energy, and Minister of Finance. He was first elected as a Member of Parliament representing Oslo in 1993.