The United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway, Rear Admiral Kenneth J. Braithwaite, USN (ret.), had the honor on June 20 at the U.S. Embassy’s Independence Day event of presenting Mr. Thomas Wilhelmsen, Chief Executive Officer of Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA, with the 2019 Ambassador’s Award.
The U.S. Ambassador’s Award is presented annually to the individual or organization who does the most in the preceding calendar year to advance the bilateral relationship between Norway and the United States.
Mr. Wilhelmsen is recognized for his leadership in contributing logistical support for U.S. and Allied overseas military operations around the globe.
In 2015, Wilhelmsen signed a “Frame Agreement on Strategic Logistical Support for Defense Operations in Peace, Crisis, Conflict and War” with the Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization.
Under the leadership of Mr. Wilhelmsen, the Wilhelmsen Group has become a leader in the global maritime industry, delivering products and services to some of today’s most challenging geographical and political environments.
The Wilhelmsen Group has a long and distinguished history supporting U.S. and Allied military operations dating back to World War II, when 56 Wilhelmsen vessels took part in the war effort. Approximately half of them were lost, along with 48 seafarers.
More recently, the Wilhelmsen Group has provided more than 135,000 units of bulk cargo supporting NATO and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations in Afghanistan.
The Wilhelmsen Group was a strategic partner and key facilitator in the removal and destruction of Syrian chemical weapon stockpiles under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118.
The Wilhelmsen Group also provided comprehensive logistical services to exercise Trident Juncture 2018, bringing in more than one million meals and two-and-a-half million bottles of water. A Wilhelmsen-affiliated shipping company, American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier, transported heavy equipment for the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps to Norwegian ports during the NATO exercise.
Thomas Wilhelmsen led the company through a worldwide effort to address and improve cultural ethics after two companies where Wilh. Wilhelmsen held a minority ownership position were put under U.S. antitrust investigations in 2012. A settlement was reached with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2016. The Ambassador recognizes the Wilhelmsen Group’s comprehensive measures and Thomas’ leadership to ensure compliance with the highest ethical standards and establishing themselves as a world leader in shipping anti-corruption efforts.