Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals

2009 Recipients

Per-Harald Grue, Norway
Visiting Scholar (2002)

Dr. Per Harald Grue completed a half-year sabbatical at the University in 2002 with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences and was nominated by the College of Biological Sciences.

Dr. Grue came to the University as an accomplished leader as secretary general of the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture, head of Norway’s delegation to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and a regular representative for Norway at international meetings. He played an important role as a board member for Nordgen (a Nordic genetic resources institution). He was also an active contributor to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

During his time at the University he researched opportunities to improve relationships and collaborations between Norway and the Midwest in the areas of agriculture, renewable fuels, and biotechnology. He initiated a partnership between the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and the University of Minnesota. The partnership was signed in 2005 with the establishment of the Norwegian Centennial Interdisciplinary Chair, based on an endowment funded by the Norwegian government and the University of Minnesota Foundation. The partnership and chair have been a model for Norway-U.S. research and educational cooperation.

Dr. Grue has opened doors for collaboration between the University and Norwegian institutions of higher education and research. His strong support for renewing the links between the Minnesota state authorities, agro-business, and academia in the historically Scandinavian communities in the Midwest has brought outstanding results. He has made lasting contributions to Norway and Minnesota and has been a friend and strong supporter of the University and a key architect of the Norwegian Centennial Interdisciplinary Chair and associated programs. The visibility of the University of Minnesota in Norway is a direct result of Dr. Grue’s leadership. Beyond the University he supported the establishment of the Norwegian Honorary Consulate General in Minneapolis, now headed by Vice President Walter Mondale.

Dr. Grue returned to the University as a co-leader of a delegation of top government officials and representatives from Norway in September 2008. The delegation gathered information to assist the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in preparing a white paper on the relationship of climate change and agriculture for the Norwegian parliament.

In naming Dr. Grue as a recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals, the committee cited his lifelong leadership in Norwegian government and his impact on the University and the State of Minnesota.