top of page

Kjell Bergh

Former Honorary Consul for Tanzania


Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, M.A., International Relations, 2004 University of Minnesota, Kiswahili studies, 1998

Macalester College, B.A. International Relations, Journalism minor, 1970

University of Oslo, Prerequisite courses, 1967

Certificate in Consular Training, Consular Corps College, Washington, D.C. 2013 Certificate in Advanced Consular Training, Consular Corps College, Washington, D.C. 2014 Certificate, Executive and Diplomatic Seminar, New Challenges to European Security, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tallinn, Estonia 2014

Certificate, Executive and Diplomatic Seminar, The Mediterranean in an Evolving World and Cyber Security Workshop, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Valletta, Malta 2017


English, Norwegian (native language); read Danish, Swedish, German (2years); French (2 years); Studied Kiswahili (1 semester)

Royal Decorations

Knight First Class, Royal Order of Merit by King Harald of Norway (1969) Gold medal, Royal Order of the Polar Star by King Carl Gustaf of Sweden (1988) St. Olav Medal by King Olav of Norway (1983)


Honorary Consul and Dean, Honorary Consular Corps, United Republic of Tanzania (2000 – 2015) Member Civic Leader Group, United States Air Force and United States Space Force

Business Experience

Borton Volvo (Minneapolis, MN) 1967- present, Chairman; Bergh International Holdings, 1974 – present, Chairman; Borton Motors, (Rochester, MN) 1974-1979, Chairman; Borton Leasing, 1972 – 1999, Chairman; Borton Overseas, 1974- present, Chairman; Borton Limousine, 1983 – 1999, Chairman; Serengeti Select Safaris and Tarangire Safari Lodge, (Tanzania),1986- 2005 Director; Borton Volvo and Borton Volkswagen, (Delray Beach, FL) 1988-2001, Chairman; OE Alliance, LLC, 2005- 2008, Director; OnnieTech Group, Ltd., Director (Tanzania) 2005- 2015, Borton Overseas Norway A.S. , 2007 – 2017, Chairman; Trollstigen Resort (Norway) 2008-2017, Chairman

Organizational Experience

As Chairman

Minnesota Consular Corps, Vinland National Center, Gillette Children’s Hospital, Sons of Norway Foundation, Minnesota Holmenkollen Foundation, Volvo National Dealer Advisory Board, Volvo 20 Group, American International Automobile Dealers Association, AIADA Services, Inc., Delray Beach Moshi Sister Cities Committee, Nyerere Educational and Research Center Foundation, Greater Metro Auto Dealers Association, Norwegian Refugee Council USA

Academic directorships

Macalester College, MN Trustee Emeritus, Executive Comm., Chair, Audit Comm. Augsburg College, MN Regent Emeritus

Gustavus Adolphus College, MN Business Advisory Group

World Press Institute, MN Director

Nobel Peace Prize Forum, MN Director, Executive Comm.

Humphrey School, University of MN Member, Dean’s Advisory Council

Fletcher School, Tufts University Member, Dean’s GMAP Advisory Council

Medical Directorships

Center for Victims of Torture, University Children’s Foundation, Medical Education and Research Foundation, Camp for Children with Epilepsy, Ski for Light, Minnesota International Health Volunteers (now Wellspring International), International Heart Relief, Selian Lutheran Hospital (Tanzania)

Other Directorships

Norwegian American Chamber, Swedish American Chamber, National Automobile Dealers Association (Industry Relations Comm.), MN Auto Dealers Association, Volvo Executive Committee, Federated Insurance Advisory Board, KMSP-TV Advisory Board, North American Window Companies, Shamrock Villas (Montserrat, W. Indies), Environment Northern Seas (Norway), Norsemen’s Federation, Leif Eriksson Millenium Foundation, Norwegian American Foundation, UN Association of MN, Oslo Center for Peace, U.S. Foundation


Opus Prize 2012


International Citizen of the Year (2014) (International Leadership Institute)

Educate Tanzania! Outstanding Service Award (2013)

Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America (DICOTA) Leadership Award (2010) AIADA Lifetime Achievement Award (2001)

Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame (1997)

TIME Magazine Quality Dealer Award (1996)

Automotive News Dealer of the Year (1996)

Automotive News All-Star Dream Team (1996)

Center of the American Experiment Award (1995)

Sports Illustrated All-Star Dealer Award (1994)

Sports Illustrated Dealer of Distinction (1986)

Vinland National Center Award (1985)

WCCO Radio Good Neighbor Award (1981)

Favorite Norwegian of the Year Award (1981)

Numerous Volvo, Volkswagen, Pontiac and SAAB awards

Business Awards

Business of the Year, Delray Beach, FL (Borton Motors) (2000)

Hotel Operator of the Year, Tanzania (Tarangire Safari Lodge) (1987)

Tour Operator of the Year, Norway (Borton Overseas) (1992)

Diplomatic, Military and Trade Delegations

Member, facilitator, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway’s official visit to Tanzania Member, facilitator, MN Gov. Carlson’s trade delegation to Sweden

Member, emcee and interpreter, MN Gov. Perpich’s trade delegation to Norway Member, MN Gov. Pawlenty’s trade delegation to China and Japan

Member, MN Gov. Dayton’s delegation to Norway – 40th Anniversary of Troop Exchange Member, MN Gov. Dayton’s trade delegation to Sweden, Norway and Germany Member, MN Congressman Keith Ellison’s trade delegation to Tanzania

Leader, AIADA trade delegation to Japan

Leader, AIADA trade delegation to Germany

Leader, NRC USA delegation to Colombia

Leader, numerous safaris to Tanzania and Kenya

VIP Guest, Minnesota National Guard delegation to Florida, Alabama and Panama VIP Guest, Minnesota National Guard delegations to Norway (multiple)

VIP Guest United States Navy, nuclear submarine USN Alabama

VIP Guest, Military Command briefing, SOUTHCOM, Panama City, Panama

VIP Guest, Military Command briefing, SOUTHCOM, Miami, FL

VIP Guest, 70th Anniversary of attack on Vemork Heavy Water Plant, Telemark, Norway Guest of Honor, Groundbreaking ceremonies, Karagwe University College, Karagwe, Tanzania Guest of Honor, Inauguration ceremonies, Karagwe University College, Karagwe, Tanzania Member, Norwegian Refugee Council Board delegation to refugee camps in Jordan

Royal Transportation logistics

Provided, planned and executed ground and air transportation for the Royal family of Norway in the United States and Tanzania over the past thirty years

Provided, planned and executed ground transportation for the Royal family of Sweden and numerous heads of state in Minnesota over the past thirty years

Provided motorcades for U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on several visits to Minnesota

Private audiences

H. M. King Olav, H.M. King Harald, H.M. Queen Sonja, H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon, H.R.H. Princess Martha Louise and H.R.H. Princess Astrid of Norway; H.M. King Carl Gustaf, H.M. Queen Silvia, H.R.H. Prince Bertil, H.R.H. Princess Lillian of Sweden, H.R.H. Prince Charles of England, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan

Private Audiences with Heads of State

President Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland, Presidents Benjamin William Mkapa and Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania, President Ratu Maru of Fiji, Prime Ministers Oddvar Nordli, Kaare Willoch, Kjell Magne Bondevik and Jens Stoltenberg of Norway

Publications and papers

Worked as freelance journalist for Akers Avis and Vi Menn, Oslo, Norway

Hosted weekly Scandinavian programs on WLOL FM and KTWN FM in Minnesota for seven years Published in The Economist (U.K.), Arusha Times (Tanzania), Minneapolis StarTribune (MN), Milford Chronicle (Milford, DE), Automotive News (Detroit, MI), International Auto Dealer (Alexandria, VA), Tusculum Bulletin (Greenville, TN)

Master’s Thesis

Norway and the International Whaling Crisis (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Boston, MA 2004)


Covered in Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek International, Automotive News, International Auto Dealer, Minneapolis StarTribune, Aftenposten (Norway), Verdens Gang (Norway), Se og Hør (Norway), Hjemmet, (Norway), Tidens Krav (Norway), Romsdals Budstikke (Norway) Åndalsnes Avis (Norway), The Guardian (Tanzania) and other international publications. Interviewed on CNN, ABC, CNBC, Bloomberg, NRK (Norway), TV2 (Norway) the Tokyo Television networks, as well as numerous local radio and TV stations


Featured in Eight Miles without a Pothole, Klobuchar, Jim, Minneapolis 1986

Featured in Wild Places and Gentle Breezes, Klobuchar, Jim, Stillwater 1990

Featured in The Cross under the Acacia Tree, Klobuchar, Jim, Minneapolis1998 Featured in Pieces of My Heart, Klobuchar, Jim, Minneapolis 2007

Featured in Amerika – fra Kennedy til Obama,Tjomsland, Audun, Oslo 2008

Featured in Wisdom on the Job, Sakai, Shinji, Tokyo 2011

Featured in Scandinavians in the StateHouse, Bergman, Klas, St. Paul, 2017

Wrote Foreword in John Magufuli: An Epitome of Cowardice, Ngurumo, Ansbert, London, 2017

Select speaking engagements

Keynote speaker: Federal Executive Board – Civil Servant of the Year Award

Nelson Mandela memorial service, Cathedral of St. Paul, MN

Federal Executive Board (Leadership Group), Minneapolis, MN

“A dialogue with Vice President Walter Mondale”, MN Consular Corps, Minneapolis American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, MN

Keynote speaker, Leadership Series, Dunwoody Technical College, Minneapolis, MN Numerous engagements for Volvo in the United States and Sweden, American International Automobile Dealers Association. Motivational speaker for Dayton’s (later Macy’s) department stores and Toro Corporation

Several lectures and workshops at Macalester College (MN), Augsburg College (MN) and University of MN; panelist on several international relations and automotive symposia

Frequent assignments as Master of Ceremonies, including Sons of Norway’s 100th Anniversary, Minnesota National Guard-Norwegian Home Guards Exchange 25th Anniversary and 35th Anniversary, banquets for the royal couple of Norway in New York, First Lady of Tanzania in MN and FL; speaking engagements across America, Norway and Tanzania

Life memberships

Sons of Norway Foundation, Norwegian American Historical Association, Vesterheim Museum, American Swedish Institute and Ski for Light


Kjell Bergh
bottom of page