Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Laws
College of Liberal Arts, May 24, 2007
Geir H. Haarde, Prime Minister of Iceland, graduated from the University of Minnesota with a master’s degree in economics in 1977. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Brandies University and a master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University. As Prime Minister, he oversees a cabinet of 11 ministries and along with the President of Althingi and the President of the Supreme Court, is entrusted to exercise presidential authority should the President not be able to perform his duties. He served as Minister of Finance from 1998 – 2005 and is credited for one of Iceland’s most prosperous periods of economic growth, which contributed to the betterment of Icelandic society. He is described as a skilled diplomat and an accomplished public servant. During his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs and in his current position of Prime Minister, he successfully negotiated the potentially damaging closure of the Keflavik Air Station. Over a period of eight years he has held three of the most important posts in Icelandic Government: Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and Minister of Finance. He has also been in the forefront of Icelandic domestic politics and has been very active in the country’s foreign relations activities including: chairing the Parliament’s Committee of Foreign Affairs, serving as a member of the Presidium of the Nordic Council, and as president and chairman of the Conservative Party Group in the Nordic Council. In addition, he served as president of the Icelandic Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), as a member of the Executive Committee of the IPU, and as chairman of the 12 Plus Group of the IPU (a geo-political group within IPU that includes members of European countries, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand).
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.