Jonas Gahr Støre

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Jonas Gahr Støre
Jonas Gahr Støre undated.jpg
Leader of the Opposition
Assumed office
14 June 2014
Prime Minister Erna Solberg
Preceded by Jens Stoltenberg
Leader of the Labour Party
Assumed office
14 June 2014
Deputy Hadia Tajik
Trond Giske (2015–2018)
Preceded by Jens Stoltenberg
Minister of Health and Care Services
In office
21 September 2012 – 16 October 2013
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Preceded by Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen
Succeeded by Bent Høie
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
17 October 2005 – 21 September 2012
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Preceded by Jan Petersen
Succeeded by Espen Barth Eide
Personal details
Born (1960-08-25) 25 August 1960 (age 58)
Oslo, Norway
Political party Labour
Children 3
Alma mater Royal Norwegian Naval Academy
Sciences Po
London School of Economics

Jonas Gahr Støre (born 25 August 1960) is a Norwegian politician and the leader of the Labour Party and the Leader of the Opposition. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2012 and as Minister of Health and Care Services from 2012 to 2013. He has been a member of the Storting since 2009, and was Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs from 2013 until being elected party leader in 2014. He is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.[1]

Støre studied political science at Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris from 1981 to 1985. He worked for Gro Harlem Brundtland as adviser and later director general at the Prime Minister's Office from 1989 to 1997. He was Executive director at the World Health Organization from 1998 to 2000 and Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross from 2003 to 2005.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Oslo, Jonas Gahr Støre is the son of ship broker Ulf Jonas Støre (1925-) and librarian Unni Gahr (1931-).[2] He attended Berg School in Oslo, then underwent naval officer training at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy. He later studied political science for five years at Sciences Po in Paris.[2]

Støre started his professional career as a teaching fellow in the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School in 1986. This was followed by a position as a researcher at the Norwegian School of Management from 1986 to 1989.

Career in public administration and organizations[edit]

He was previously affiliated with the Conservative Party (Bokmål: Høyre; Nynorsk: Høgre) having applied for a position as political advisor on foreign affairs for Høyre.[3] He was offered the job but subsequently turned it down.[3] In 1989, Støre became special adviser in the Prime Minister's office of Gro Harlem Brundtland.[3] He formally became a member of the Labour Party in 1995.

He later became an ambassador in the Norwegian Delegation to the United Nations Office at Geneva. His first major international position was as Executive Director (Chief of Staff) in the World Health Organization under the leadership of Gro Harlem Brundtland.

He was Executive Chairman of the think tank ECON Analyse from 2002 to 2003 and Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross from 2003 to 2005.

Political career[edit]

Foreign Minister[edit]

In 2005, Støre was appointed foreign minister in Jens Stoltenberg's government, serving in that position until 2012. Numerous polls showed that Støre was the most popular member of the Stoltenberg government.[4]

Health Minister[edit]

From 2012 to 2013, Støre served as Minister of Health.

Member of Parliament[edit]

In the 2009 general election in Norway, Støre was elected to the Norwegian parliament, Stortinget, and represents Oslo. He was reelected in 2013 and 2017.

Leader of the Labour Party[edit]

On 14 June 2014, he was elected leader of the Labour Party, succeeding Jens Stoltenberg, who had been appointed Secretary-General of NATO.

Hotel Serena attack[edit]

On 14 January 2008, a suicide bomber struck the Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, where Støre was staying. He was then the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway.[5] Støre was unhurt in the incident, which killed six people including Norwegian journalist Carsten Thomassen.[6] United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated that Støre was the target of the attack,[7] but this claim was rejected by a Taliban spokesperson.[8] Støre canceled the rest of his visit to Afghanistan the day after the attack.[9]


It created a controversy when Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, confirmed to Norwegian media in 2011 that he had been having direct telephone conversations with Støre during his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by both the EU and the U.S. Støre first denied the allegations, then asked to re-do his interview in order to change his response to the allegations.[10][11][12][13][14]

Støre received criticism in 2017 when it was revealed that workers on his vacation home had not paid taxes nor VAT.[15][16][17][18]

Other activities[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Støre is married to the sociologist Marit Slagsvold, and they have three sons, who attended Oslo Waldorf School.[20] Støre is a professed Christian[21] and both he and his wife are noted as supporters of Waldorf education and active within the anthroposophic community in Oslo more broadly.[22]

Støre is a multi-millionaire, with a fortune of around NOK 60,000,000 (approx. US$7,100,000 in 2016) [23] He owns a large part of the family company Femstø. Most of the family fortune comes from the sale of Norwegian company Jøtul in 1977, which was run by his maternal grandfather Johannes Gahr.


  1. ^ a b Støre, Jonas Gahr ( 1960- ) Retrieved 7 November 2013. (in Norwegian)
  2. ^ a b Jonas Gahr Støre Store Norske Leksikon. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^ Taleban attack Kabul luxury hotel, BBC News, 14 January 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  6. ^ Bombeangrep mot Støres hotell, Aftenposten, 14 January 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  7. ^ FNs generalsekretær: - Støre var målet Archived 16 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Aftenposten, 14 January 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  8. ^ Taliban: - Støre var ikke målet, VG Nett, 14 January 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  9. ^ VG: Støre trolig hjem til Norge etter terrorangrepet, published 14 January 2008 (in Norwegian)
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
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  19. ^ Crisis Group Announces New Board Members International Crisis Group, press release of 28 July 2016.
  20. ^ Hallgeir Opedal: Internasjonal samlivsterapeut Dagbladet, 10 July 2013
  21. ^
  22. ^ AntroPost 3-2008
  23. ^

External links[edit]

  • "Jonas Gahr Støre" (in Norwegian). Storting.
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Jonas Gahr Støre: In defense of dialogue TED-talk
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Jan Egeland
Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross
Succeeded by
Trygve G. Nordby
Political offices
Preceded by
Jan Petersen
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Espen Barth Eide
Preceded by
Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen
Minister of Health and Care Services
Succeeded by
Bent Høie
Preceded by
Jens Stoltenberg
Leader of the Opposition
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jens Stoltenberg
Leader of the Labour Party