Arman Aardal, a 1970 graduate of OU with a bachelor’s degree in political science, is scheduled to give two presentations as the featured speaker in the university’s annual Hostetter DeFries Endowed Cultural Event. His first presentation — “Diplomacy: What is It and Who Needs It?” — is scheduled 8 p.m. Wednesday at Fredrikson Chapel on the OU campus, 1001 S. Cedar St. Aardal’s second session, “We Can All Make a Difference,” is set for 11 a.m. Thursday in the chapel. Both presentations are open to the public.
Aardal will discuss the struggles, successes and lasting friendships he encountered throughout his career, according to a news release from the university.
After graduating from Ottawa University, Aardal completed his graduate studies in international relations at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He completed his military service in Norway’s His Majesty’s Royal Guards and then spent two years at the Oslo office of The Associated Press, the release said.
Upon completing his foreign officer training program with Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aardal was posted to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was deputy chief of mission and acting ambassador, the release said, adding that he also was officer-in-charge for Ethiopia and Uganda.
Other assignments took Aardal to the Permanent Mission of Norway at the United Nations in New York, and then back to Kenya as permanent representatives of Norway to The United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations Human Settlements Program. His final assignment abroad was as Norway’s ambassador to the State of Eritrea.
Aardal and his wife, Marcella (Goertzen) Aardal, a 1971 OU graduate, live in Vestby, Norway, near Oslo. Aardal is active in several church and community projects, including being on the board of Friends of Mathare Youth Sports Association in Norway. The association supports sports and community service activities among MYSA’s 25,000 members in the slums of Nairobi, the release said.
The Hostetter-DeFries Family Endowed Cultural Fund was established in 1999 by Ottawa University alumna Alice Jo (Hostetter) DeFries, the release said. The goal of the fund and annual cultural event is to host guest speakers who have contributed significantly to the social, artistic and cultural improvement of society, OU officials said.