Minister Bjarni Vestmann

Military Representative – Iceland

  • Last updated: 11 Aug. 2023 15:54

Minister Bjarni Vestmann was born in Akranes, Iceland, on 24 May 1961. He joined the Icelandic Permanent Mission to NATO on 1 August 2023 and took up duties as the representative on the Military Committe from the same time. This is the second time he serves as the representative on the Military Committee. The first time was 2002-2004.

Minister Bjarni Vestmann, Military Representative of Iceland to NATO

After studying political science at the University of Iceland he had a carrier as a journalist for both radio and television before studying at the College of Europe in Bruges. 

Minister Vestmann joined the Icelandic Foreign Ministry (MFA) in 1991 and has most of the time worked on security and defence as the Deputy Director General of the Defence Directorate. First posting was at the Icelandic Embassy in Stockholm before joining the Permanent Mission to NATO in 1998 until 2004. Minister Vestmann was involved in the take over of the airport in Pristina, Kosovo, 2002 when Iceland took command under the banner of KFOR. Same happened at the international airport in Kabul in 2004 for ISAF. At home, in Iceland, he also participated in the hand over – take over of the facilities and some functions when the US Iceland Defense Force left Iceland in 2006 and the base was closed. 

Iceland had the co-chairmanship with Ireland on the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) 2017-2018 and Minister Vestmann was the Icelandic co-chair. In the Defence Directorate he was in charge of Iceland´s participation in exercises like Dynamic Mongoose 2017 (when it took first place off the coast of Iceland), Trident Juncture 2018, Trident Jupiter 2019 and Crisis Management Exercise 2019, as well as the bi-lateral Icelandic-United States´ exercises Northern-Viking. Last assignment was as Icelandic National Representative to the NMR Echelon at SHAPE, JFC Brunssum and USEUCOM. 

In early carrier at the MFA, Minister Vestmann was the Head of Press, Information and Culture and was responsible for media relations for the President´s office and Prime Minister´s office when Heads of State or Government visited Iceland.