Ketil Solvik-Olsen

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Ketil Solvik-Olsen
NHO7 2015 samfmin k s olsen IMG 6436.JPG
Minister of Transport and Communications
In office
16 October 2013 – 31 August 2018
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded byMarit Arnstad
Succeeded byJon Georg Dale
Second Deputy Leader of the Progress Party
In office
26 May 2013 – 5 May 2019
LeaderSiv Jensen
Preceded byPer Arne Olsen
Succeeded byTerje Søviknes
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
1 October 2005 – 16 October 2013
Personal details
Born (1972-02-14) 14 February 1972 (age 48)
Time, Rogaland, Norway
Political partyProgress Party
Spouse(s)Tone Solvik-Olsen
Alma materUniversity of Toledo
WebsiteOfficial website

Ketil Solvik-Olsen (born 14 February 1972) is a Norwegian politician of the Progress Party who served as Minister of Transport and Communications from 2013 to 2018 and as the party’s second deputy leader from 2013 to 2019.

He was a member of the Norwegian Parliament for Rogaland from 2005, until deciding not to seek renomination in 2013.

Early life and education[edit]

Solvik-Olsen was born and raised in Time, Rogaland to self-employed businessman Aksel Emil Solvik-Olsen (born 1943) and socionom Berit Lagergren (born 1943). After finishing Rosseland elementary School, he attended Bryne Upper Secondary school, and later an International Baccalaureate at St. Olav Upper Secondary school in Stavanger from 1990 to 1992.

He was an exchange student to the United States at Blissfield High School, Michigan from 1989 to 1990. From 1994 to 1997 he studied political science and social economics (summa cum laude) at the University of Toledo, Ohio.[2] He spent over five years in the US, including work for Disney, as a volunteer during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and as an intern in the United States Senate.[3]

Political career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Solvik-Olsen joined the Progress Party's Youth when he was fifteen years old, in 1987.[4][5] He held various positions locally within the youth organisation from 1988 to 1992.[2] He made his way into national politics initially by working as a political advisor and aide to Øyvind Vaksdal and Siv Jensen for five years, having moved to Oslo around 1998.[4]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Aside from being deputy in the Oslo city council, he had never before served as an elected official when he was elected to the Storting from Rogaland in 2005. He was re-elected in 2009. He was a member of the Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment from 2005 to 2011, and delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 2011.[2]

Solvik-Olsen announced in 2012 that he would not seek renomination for the 2013 parliamentary election due to family concerns including his wife's career as a medical doctor.[6]

In 2013 Solvik-Olsen was elected second deputy leader of the Progress Party.[7]

Minister of Transportation and Communication[edit]

Solvik-Olsen opens European route E18 in Vestfold County.

After the 2013 election, Solvik-Olsen was appointed Minister of Transportation in Erna Solberg's new cabinet.[8]

Before taking up the post, the Progress Party had announced that it would be reducing the amount of toll roads, and this was widely expected to be one of the most important transformation reforms.[9] Despite immediately beginning to dismantle some existing toll booths, and cancelling some planned toll projects, there was disappointment among his party's core constituency over the slow pace of the reform.[10]

Political views[edit]

Solvik-Olsen during a meeting with Pilar del Castillo in Brussels, Belgium.

Solvik-Olsen has stated that he thinks Norway needs a "liberalism that is pragmatic". He was noted as a critic of the Red-Green governmental environmental policies, claiming their policies to be based too much on "symbol politics" and unrealistic ambitious goals, instead of seeking feasible realistic options.[11] He has said that he is personally social conservative, though is liberal with regards to how other people wish to live their lives.[11]

He has stated that Ronald Reagan is his foremost political hero, though he also has pictures of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy decorating his home.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Tone Solvik-Olsen, a medical doctor.[12] Together they have two children, one girl and one boy. The family currently resides in the Voksenåsen neighborhood in the Oslo borough of Vestre Aker.[13] Solvik-Olsen has described himself as an "atypical Progress Party-person" due to his relatively careful and modest lifestyle, not fitting several stereotypes of the traditional party supporter.[4]

A lifelong teetotaler, he abstains from all stimulants, including tobacco, and coffee. He is however, a notorious aficionado of chocolate, an addiction which has been described as "morbid".[14] He compensates the high-sugar diet by eating very small regular meals, and skipping lunch altogether.[15] Since his stay in the United States, Solvik-Olsen has been a automobile enthusiast, his collection includes a second generation 1985 model Cadillac Seville, a convertible Dodge Stratus, in addition to over 80 Model cars.[4] He is a supporter of Bryne FK football club.[16]

Solvik-Olsen publicly announced his withdrawal from the Church of Norway in 2010, after the church leadership had publicly opposed oil exploration in Lofoten and Vesterålen.[1] He is connected to Pentecostalism, as he for several years has attended the Pentecostal congregation Filadelfia.[4] While his wife is a member of the congregation and his two children are baptised there, he is not a formal member himself since it requires a Believer's baptism, and he considers his childhood baptism to be valid and sufficient. He has stated that as of present he only has his personal direct contact with God, not being part of any "earthly membership lists".[1]


  1. ^ a b c Holbek, Jan Arild (10 February 2010). "FrP-pinsevenn ut av statskirken". Vårt Land. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Solvik-Olsen, Ketil ( 1972- )".
  3. ^ Solvik Olsen, Ketil (2012). "Ketil Solvik Olsen : Biografi" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2012-05-05.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Natland, Jarle (4 April 2003). "Folk: Vi som elsker Amerika". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  5. ^ Evensen, Mari Rollag (9 July 2009). "Vil gi mer rom for verdiskapning". NRK.
  6. ^ "Solvik-Olsen: Til disposisjon som nestleder", VG, 17.09.2012
  7. ^ "Solvik-Olsen ny nestleder i Frp", VG, 26.05.2013
  8. ^ e24. "NRK: Ketil Solvik-Olsen blir samferdselsminister". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  9. ^ Andersen, Christina. "Frp går tilbake på bompenger". Archived from the original on 14 January 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  10. ^ Fossen, Cato. "Her er den første bomstasjonen Frp stanser". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  11. ^ a b Tunmo, Truls (17 March 2009). "– Liberalisme er ikke anarki". Teknisk Ukeblad.
  12. ^ Grøndal, Kjell-Ivar (9 September 2013). ""Driver og legger barn. Gir lyd når det er ro."". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Ketil Solvik-Olsen". TV2 Nyhetene: Valg 2009.
  14. ^ Erikstad, Vegard. "Han mener trening er hysteri om han ikke får spise sjokolade samtidig". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  15. ^ Johansen, Robert. "Ketil Solvik-Olsen: - Ikke fortell noe negativt om meg". Aftenposten. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  16. ^ Oppedal, Mathias (16 October 2013). "Rogalendingane dominerte på Slottsplassen". Retrieved 13 January 2014.