NATO chief Stoltenberg eyes Norway central bank top job

NATO Secretary-General and former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has applied to become Norwegian central bank’s governor, the country’s Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

Stoltenberg told Norwegian press agency NTB that he was “very motivated” for the job.

Stoltenberg became the secretary-general of the military alliance in October 2014, when the alliance had 28 members. NATO has 30 members today.

His term at NATO ends in September 2022, and he’s expected to serve it out until the end. The Norwegian central bank governor’s job begins in March 2022.

Stoltenberg’s competitors

Stoltenberg is among 22 applicants who applied to be the governor of Norges Bank.

The Norwegian central bank’s current Deputy Governor Ida Wolden Bache, the only female applicant, is seen by many economists as a strong candidate for the top job.

Bache said in a statement on Tuesday that she has a “good overview of what the position entails” and that she’s motivated for the job. She said she applied for the job after speaking with officials at the Finance Ministry.

Stoltenberg also told NTB on Tuesday that the Finance Ministry had contacted him to see if he would be interested in the job.

The successful candidate will be in charge of setting interest rates as well as overseeing Norway’s powerful sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest with assets of $ 1.4 trillion (around € 1.2 trillion).

Stoltenberg’s portfolio

Stoltenberg was Norway’s prime minister for 18 months between 2000 and 2001, and once again between 2005 and 2013.

He served as prime minister during the deadly terrorist attacks of 2011, in which a Norwegian extremist went on a bomb and gun rampage in Oslo, killing 77 people.

Stoltenberg also served as Norway’s finance minister between 1996 and 1997.

He embarked on a career in politics after graduating from the University of Oslo with a master’s degree in economics in 1987. He was born in Oslo in 1959.