Dagfinn Høybråten

Dagfinn Høybråten (born 2 December 1957) is a Norwegian politician. He was the leader of the Christian Democratic Party 2004–2011. He was also Parliamentary leader from 2005 when he was elected as Member of Parliament representing Rogaland. He was Vice President of the Norwegian Parliament from 2011 to 2013. He was President of the Nordic Council in 2007. Høybråten was granted leave from his duty as Member of Parliament from March 2013 to take up the position as Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. He was elected board member of the GAVI Alliance in 2006 and Chair of the Board from 2011 to 2015.

Dagfinn Høybråten
Dagfinn Hoybraten, blivande president for Nordiska radet 2007.jpg
Leader of the Christian Democratic Party
In office
23 January 2004 – 30 April 2011
Preceded byValgerd Svarstad Haugland
Succeeded byKnut Arild Hareide
Minister of Health and Social Affairs
In office
17 October 1997 – 17 March 2000
Prime MinisterKjell Magne Bondevik
Preceded byGudmund Hernes
Succeeded byTore Tønne
Minister of Health and Care Services
In office
19 October 2001 – 18 June 2004
Prime MinisterKjell Magne Bondevik
Preceded byTore Tønne
Succeeded byAnsgar Gabrielsen
Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
In office
18 June 2004 – 17 October 2005
Prime MinisterKjell Magne Bondevik
Preceded byIngjerd Schou
Succeeded byBjarne Håkon Hanssen
President of the Nordic Council
In office
1 January 2007 – 31 December 2007
Preceded byOle Stavad
Succeeded byErkki Tuomioja
Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers
In office
1 March 2013 – 17 March 2019
Preceded byHalldór Ásgrímsson
Succeeded byPaula Lehtomäki
Fifth Vice President of the Storting
In office
1 October 2011 – 3 March 2013
PresidentDag Terje Andersen
Preceded byLine Holten Hjemdal
Succeeded byLine Holten Hjemdal
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
17 October 2005 – 4 March 2013
Personal details
Born (1957-12-02) 2 December 1957 (age 63)
Oslo, Norway
Political partyChristian Democratic Party
Alma materUniversity of Oslo
ProfessionPolitical scientist

In 2018 it was announced that Mr Høybråten will lead the "Truth and Reconciliation committee" regarding the discrimination of the indigenous Sami people in Norway up and until 1980.[1]

He was the chairman of the Young Christian Democrats (KrFU)[2] in 1979–1982. Høybråten has been part of the political leadership of every Government the Christian Democratic Party has been part of since the early 1980s, first as a Political Adviser to Minister of Church and Education Kjell Magne Bondevik 1983–1986, later as State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance 1989-1990, Minister of Health 1997–2000 and 2001–2004 as well as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs 2004–2005.

Høybråten has also served as the Director General of Norway Social Security Administration 1997-2004, an Executive Director of the Norwegian Association of Local Government from 1990-1993 and a Chief Executive of the municipality of Oppegård 1994-1996. Høybråten holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Oslo.

Early and personal lifeEdit

Høybråten was born to churchwarden and politician Per Høybråten (1932–1990) and laboratory worker Åse Margrethe Hallen (born 1929). While he was born and grew up in Oslo, he lived for three years in Sandnes due to his father working there as a control veterinary. His father was politically active in the Christian Democratic Party, and was a State Secretary and deputy member of the Parliament of Norway from Oslo 1973–1977. Høybråten is married to his wife Jorun, and has four children.

Political careerEdit

Høybråten became active in politics at an early age, and became deputy chairman of the Young Christian Democrats in 1978-1979 and chairman in 1979-1982.[3] He got his first experience from Parliament as a personal assistant to Parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Party, Lars Korvald. When the Christian Democrats joined Kåre Willoch's government in 1983 Høybråten became a Political Adviser for Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik in the Ministry of Church and Education until 1986. I Jan P. Syse's government 1989-1990 he was State secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

He led the Ministry of Health and Care Services from 1997 to 2000 and again from 2001 to 2004. Following a 2004 Government reshuffle, Høybråten was transferred to lead the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In 2004, he also assumed the leadership of the Christian Democratic Party.[4]

As Minister of Health, Høybråten was noted for his campaign against tobacco smoking in public indoor places. It resulted in the adoption by Parliament of a bill banning smoking in restaurants, bars, and cafés that came into force June 1, 2004. Several European countries followed the Norwegian experiences closely, and planned for similar legislation. Between 2004 and 2011 about 100 countries across the globe adopted a similar legislation.[5] Høybråtens efforts have been credited for reducing the smoking rates and improving public health in Norway.[6] Initially, the bill sparked some controversy, however it became popular after it passed. Høybråten received LHL's[7] honorary award in 2006 for his work in this field.[8] Høybråten was critical of employers advertising positions for non-smokers, since his he felt the issue ought to be fighting tobacco and its adverse health effects, rather than discriminating against people who smoke.[9]

When former leader Valgerd Svarstad Haugland and the rest of the Party leadership withdrew in 2004 after a poor result in the local elections in 2003, Høybråten was elected new party leader at an extraordinary Party Congress. He became Member of Parliament of Norway from Rogaland in 2005, and he then also became parliamentary leader for the Christian Democratic Parliamentary group. After a year in the Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs Committee he was from 2006 Member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs until he left Parliament. He was also President of the Nordic Council 2007–2008.

On 2 October 2010 Høybråten announced that he would not run for reelection as party leader at the 2011 party conference.[10] He also announced that he would not run for a third term as member of Parliament in the 2013 general election.[11] Knut Arild Hareide succeeded him from 30 April 2011.[12] Høybråten was announced as the new secretary general of the Nordic Council of Ministers in September 2012 effective from 1 March 2013. He was granted a leave for the remainder of his term in parliament.[13]

In 2016 he started to serve as board member at the Board of International Advisors at the Fudan Development Institute in Shanghai.

In March 2019 his tenure as secretary general at the Nordic Council of Ministers ended.[14] On April 1 the same year he became secretary general of the Norwegian Church Aid.[15]

Gavi - the Vaccine AllianceEdit

Høybråten was elected board member of Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance[16] in 2006. In the period 2011-2015 he served as Chair of the Gavi Alliance Board. He succeeded Mary Robinson, Graça Machel and Nelson Mandela in this position, and he is the longest serving Chair of the organisation. Gavi was set up in 2000 as a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing access to immunisation in the world's poorest countries.[17]

In 2015, new figures documented that Gavi has helped vaccinate half a billion children and saved 7 million lives since the organisation was funded.[18] During Høybråten's term as Chair, Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance had two replenishment conferences to finance the global vaccination work. Both in London 2011 and in Berlin 2015 the donors exceeded the ask, and managed to raise respectively 4,3 and US$7,539 billion.

Awards and decorationsEdit

In 1999 Høybråten was appointed as honorary president of Yiang Central Hospital in the Hunan province of China. The hospital was founded in 1906 by Høybråtens great grandfather, Jørgen Edvin Nielsen. Høybråten was awarded the Grand Cross of St. Olav in 2004. In 2005 Høybråten was awarded an honorary degree from Luther College in Iowa.


  1. ^ "Slike familier er det mange av – nå skal historiene deres fortelles". 6 May 2019.
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20150216153433/http://krfu.no/krfu-in-english/
  3. ^ Olaussen, Lise Meret (25 February 2020). "Dagfinn Høybråten". Norsk biografisk leksikon.
  4. ^ http://www.krf.no/
  5. ^ WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2011
  6. ^ Røykfri-politikk en suksess Archived 2008-12-01 at the Wayback Machine Nettavisen, July 1, 2008 (in Norwegian)
  7. ^ http://www.lhl.no/
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-26. Retrieved 2015-04-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ EU: Ikke lov å diskriminere røykere dinside.no August 15, 2006 (in Norwegian)
  10. ^ "Avskjedsbrev fra Dagfinn Høybråten". Norge Idag. October 3, 2010. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  11. ^ "Dagfinn Høybråten trekker seg". NRK Nyheter. October 2, 2010. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
  12. ^ "Nå er Knut Arild sjefen i KrF" (in Norwegian). TV2. 30 April 2011. Archived from the original on 2 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  13. ^ Risholm, Toril (21 September 2012). "Høybråten går til Nordisk ministerråd" (in Norwegian). Stavanger Aftenblad. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Outgoing Secretary General: Keep the Nordic focus — Nordic Labour Journal". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ "Dagfinn Høybråten på plass i Kirkens Nødhjelp".
  16. ^ http://www.gavi.org
  17. ^ "Our Alliance".
  18. ^ "Half a billion children vaccinated and seven million lives saved thanks to Gavi partners".
Political offices
Preceded by
Norwegian Minister of Health and Social Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Norwegian Minister of Health
Succeeded by
Preceded by
position created
Norwegian Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chairman of the Youth of the Christian People's Party
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Leader of the Christian Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Civic offices
Preceded by
Director of the National Insurance Administration
(Arild Sundberg was acting from
1997–2000 and 2001–2004
Succeeded by