The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Grete Faremo

Ms. Grete Faremo joined UNOPS as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director in August 2014. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise, having held several high-level positions for the Government of Norway as well as years of experience in the private sector.

Our aspirations are clear – we must and can do more, together, to take care of our planet and its people.

Grete Faremo - Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director

Biography

Ms. Grete Faremo joined UNOPS as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director in August 2014. Before this appointment, Ms. Faremo held various senior-level positions for the Government of Norway. 

Most recently, she was Minister of Justice and Public Security; a role she held for two years.  Ms. Faremo was Minister of Defence (2009-2011), Minister of Oil and Energy (1996), Minister of Justice (1992-1996), and Minister of Development Cooperation (1990-1992) for the Norwegian Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  She was elected member of Parliament from 1993 to 1997. During her first appointment as Minister of Justice, Ms. Faremo initiated negotiations between Schengen member countries and Norway on security and free movement in Europe, which culminated in the Nordic Schengen Agreement, signed in 1996 by the Governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Ms. Faremo also brings a wealth of experience from the private sector, working as the Executive Vice President for the Norwegian insurance group, Storebrand, from 1997 to 2003. From 2003 to 2008, she held the position of Director of Law and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Corporation's Western European Office, where she developed the legal and public affairs division responsible for corporate compliance in the region.

Ms. Faremo has sat on various advisory boards and associations throughout her career, including Norwegians Peoples' Aid, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, the Competence Development Fund of Southern Norway, Norsk Hydro ASA, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Bergen.

Ms. Faremo graduated from the University of Oslo in 1978, with a degree in Law, specializing in International law. She entered the public service in 1979 as an executive officer in the Norwegian Government's Ministry of Finance, later moving to NORAD in 1980, and the then newly established Ministry of Development Cooperation, where she worked for six years.

Ms. Faremo was born in 1955 in Byglandsfjord, Norway. She is quadrilingual, fluent in English, Danish and Swedish, aside from her Norwegian mother tongue. She is married and has one daughter.

  • 1. UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo visiting social housing buildings in Obrenovac, Serbia with the Mayor of Obrenovac. The housing was constructed with funding from the European Union.
  • 2. Executive Director Grete Faremo visits a UNOPS Metro project in Lima, Peru. When finalized, the Metro will provide transportation for up to one million passengers a day.