Sweden’s ambassador to United States to visit St. Peter
MANKATO — Many Minnesotans are descendants of immigrants from Sweden, so the state was a logical choice for the Scandinavian country’s ambassador when planning a venture away from her embassy in Washington, D.C.
During her three-day stay in Minnesota, Karin Olofsdotter will be in St. Peter Monday to visit with the Gustavus Adolphus College community and the general public.
“The ambassador is serving in her first year and wants to travel around to meet people,” said American Swedish Institute’s president/CEO Bruce Karstadt.
Earlier this year, Olofsdotter reached out to Karstadt, who’s also Honorary Consul General to Sweden, for advice about which stops to include on her trip.
“It made sense to include St. Peter and Gustavus. They’ve long maintained a connection with Sweden,” Karstadt said.
Olofsdotter will speak 9 a.m. Sept. 17 during a public event in Jackson Campus Center at Gustavus Adolphus College. She’s also scheduled time after her presentation for informal conversations with attendees.
“That will help her communicate the American viewpoint of Sweden,” said Barb Larson-Taylor, the senior director of institutional events at Gustavus.
Larson-Taylor said the ambassador’s stop in St. Peter will be brief.
The diplomat’s visit is a welcome bonus for the college’s Scandinavian Studies program. About 150 students from three classes will attend the presentation, Larson-Taylor said.
Olofsdotter will discuss her country and its role in the world today.
Sweden’s general election took place Sunday. Between 80 and 90 percent of the country’s eligible voters cast ballots.
The governing Social Democratic Party did retain its political power, however, a far-right party remains in third place.
Olofsdotter was in Washington, D.C., over the weekend and probably monitored the election results from her embassy office. Next week, she’ll be taking note of state residents’ reactions to the election, Karstadt speculated.
While in Minnesota, the diplomat will spend time with Gov. Mark Dayton and attend a trade seminar in the Twin Cities.
Not only is Minnesota a popular place for Swedish citizens to visit, many are in the state for extended stays, Karstad said.