A Norwegian government attorney and a fomer adviser at the Norwegian Mission to the United Nations have been named Kistefos Public Service Fellows at the Kennedy School of Government. The fellowship program was established in 2006 by a donation of more than $1 million from Kistefos AS, one of Norway’s leading privately owned investment companies.
The objective of the fellowship is to further the development of a professional class of public leaders who will contribute to efficient and effective government and help leverage the public stewardship of national wealth in Norway.
The two Kistefos Fellows for the 2007-08 academic year are Ole Wetlesen Borge, a master’s in public administration/mid-career candidate, and Bjørn Klouman Bekken, a candidate for the master’s in public administration. Both Borge and Bekken are set to graduate in 2008.
After graduating from the Oslo Handelsgymnasium in 1990, Borge served in the Norwegian Air Force. He later studied law at the University of Oslo, where he earned his degree in 1997. Since 2000, Borge has been working in the attorney general’s office in Oslo. The office represents the Norwegian government in all civil litigations for national and international courts and advises the government in a wide range of legal and strategic issues.
Bekken is a 2003 graduate of the University of Oslo. He has served as an adviser at the Norwegian Mission to the U.N. and works as a freelance journalist. He has written articles and op-eds for several Norwegian newspapers. This summer, he is working for the U.N. in Tanzania. Bekken was accepted into the Norwegian diplomatic corps in 2006 and will return to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following graduation.
“Ole and Bjorn very much embody the spirit of the Kistefos Fellowship program, and I am confident they will continue their service as outstanding and dedicated public servants following their graduation from the Kennedy School,” said Christen Sveaas, chairman of Kistefos AS.
The Kistefos Public Service Fellowship Fund supports student tuition, fees, and a stipend for living expenses. Candidates who accept the fellowship are required to sign a commitment letter obligating them to serve their home country in a public service capacity for at least three years following their graduation.