It’s official—the United States now has an Ambassador for Norway! As you probably heard, Samuel Heins was appointed by President Obama and recently confirmed for the position. Last Thursday he was officially sworn in, completing the process.

This is excellent news for both Norway and the United States, as having someone in this important diplomatic position will help strengthen the bond that exists between both countries. A recent MinnPost article was quoted as saying there were no doubts as to Heins’ qualifications: he built a distinguished career as a lawyer in Minneapolis, and serves on the boards of several area nonprofits, including the Center for Victims of Torture.

In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Heins touted his Minnesota background, and said residents think of themselves as “honorary Norwegians.” Minnesota is home to the country’s largest population of Norwegian-Americans — fitting, then, that he be appointed to the post.

Heins, a Minneapolis lawyer, most recently served as a Partner at Heins Mills & Olson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from 1994 to 2013. Mr. Heins was a Partner at Opperman Heins and Paquin from 1989 to 1994, a Partner at Tanick and Heins from 1976 to 1989. In 1983, Mr. Heins founded Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, where he served as First Chair and continues to serve as a member. He is a Board Member of the Ploughshares Fund, Trustee of the PEN American Center, and Board Member and Vice Chair of the Center for Victims of Torture, which he co-founded. He previously served as a Board Member and Vice President of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. Mr. Heins received a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Minnesota.

To learn more about Ambassador Heins, click here.