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Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

The Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches in August 2009, and took up his new post in January 2010.

WCC general secretary

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The Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in August 2009, and was re-elected to a second term in July 2014. At the time of his nomination, Tveit was the general secretary of the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations (2002-09).

Before taking up the post of general secretary, Tveit served the WCC as a member of the Faith and Order Plenary Commission and as a co-chair of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum core group.

In his home country, he served as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Christian Council of Norway, moderator of the Church of Norway - Islamic Council of Norway contact group and the same for the Jewish Congregation contact group. He also was a member of the Inter-Faith Council of Norway and a member of the board of trustees of Norwegian Church Aid.

Previous assignments included the position of secretary for the Church of Norway Doctrinal Commission, 1999-2000, and Church-State Relations, 2001-02. Tveit is an ordained pastor in the Church of Norway and has served as a parish priest.

As general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Tveit has led the fellowship of churches through such gatherings as the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (Kingston, Jamaica, 2011) and the 10th Assembly of the WCC (Busan, Republic of Korea, 2013). He has also been instrumental in leadership of international consultations on such topics as climate change, peacemaking and refugee resettlement.

In 2002, Tveit was awarded a doctorate in theology by the Norwegian School of Theology/Menighetsfakultetet in Oslo for his dissertation on Mutual Accountability as Ecumenical Attitude.

The thesis formed the basis for his book, The Truth We Owe Each Other: Mutual Accountability in the Ecumenical Movement (WCC Publications, 2016). He is also author of Christian Solidarity in the Cross of Christ (WCC Publications, 2012).

In 2012, Tveit received the Friends of the Armenians Award for his advocacy worldwide. In 2013, King Abdullah II of Jordan presented him with the Al-Hussein Decoration for Distinguished Service in the field of inter-religious dialogue and cooperation in pursuit of peace among peoples.

In 2015, Hanshin University in Seoul, Republic of Korea, awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his vision of unity, justice and peace.

Tveit also serves as a co-president of Religions for Peace.