Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, has championed many facets since her 2013 election, from sustainability to global solutions, all while leading the “land of the midnight sun.” Not only that, but as mentioned in the May issue of Viking, she was recently awarded the inaugural UN Global Citizen Prize for a World Leader, due in part for her consistent fighting for women’s and girls’ rights internationally.
While it’s obvious Her Excellency holds much political influence in her home country and around the world, here are four facts you may not have known about Solberg:
- Throughout her childhood, Solberg struggled in school and was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 16. But that hasn’t stopped her. She was known for being an active contributor in the classroom and showcased many leadership skills. In her senior year of high school, she was elected to the board of the School Student of Norway.
- She holds a cand. mag. degree—equivalent to a master’s degree—in sociology, political science, statistics and economy from the University of Bergen, where she graduated in 1986.
- Solberg has a few nicknames. She earned the nickname “Iron Erna” from the firm stance on immigration during her time as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development from 2001 to 2005. She’s since transformed her tough-minded image with a softer conservative, with more care toward health, schools and more. She even wrote a book in 2011 called “People, not Billions” that helped widen her appeal as a leader of a right-winged party often criticized as more focused on tax cuts for the rich than the welfare of ordinary Norwegians. She’s also been dubbed the “Angela Merkel of Norway.”
- She is Norway’s 21st Prime Minister, but the second female in country’s history to hold this position after Gro Harlem Brundtland, who served as the head of Norway’s government for three terms in 1981, 1986-1989 and 1990-1996.