The Scandinavian nation, which will soon be closing its formal consulate office in Minnesota, announced the appointment on its U.S. Web site, the Star Tribune reported Wednesday. It was unclear when the full-scale office will be closed and when Mondale will begin his honorary duties, the Minneapolis newspaper said.
Mondale, whose grandfather emigrated to the United States from Norway in 1857, is to meet with Norwegian officials soon to "establish the practical framework for his tasks and the continued work to set up the consulate general in Minneapolis so that it able to maintain and further develop the important ties between Norway and the Midwest," the announcement said.
Mondale, who turns 80 in January, served two terms in the Senate and was vice president from 1977-81 when Jimmy Carter was president. A Democrat, he also served as ambassador to Japan during the Clinton administration, and narrowly lost to Norm Coleman in the 2002 Senate when he was pressed into service as a last-minute replacement for Sen. Paul Wellstone, who was killed in a plane crash. Mondale has been working in private law practice.