Solheim was Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme between May 2016 and November 2018. Prior to joining UN Environment, Solheim was the chair of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. From 2007 to 2012, Solheim held the combined portfolio of Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development, and from 2005 to 2007 served as Minister of International Development. Solheim is also an experienced peace negotiator, having acted as the main facilitator of the peace process in Sri Lanka from 1998 to 2005.
Solheim holds a degree in history and social studies from the University of Oslo.