Kim Traavik has had an extensive career in the Norwegian Foreign Service. His postings include the Norwegian Embassy in Helsinki, and the missions of Norway to the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. From 1997 through 1999 he was coordinator of the Norwegian chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He was director-general for Policy Planning in 1999-2000, and director-general for European Political Affairs in 2000-01. In 2001 he was appointed Norwegian state secretary and deputy minister of foreign affairs, a position he held for four years.
From 2006 to 2010 he served as ambassador and permanent representative to NATO. In 2010 he was appointed ambassador to the United Kingdom, and following his departure from London in 2014, he served as a special adviser on protective national security in the Norwegian Office of the Prime Minister. In 2012 he was the head of a government-appointed group of independent experts that evaluated the functioning of the Norwegian Police Security Service. From 2015 to 2016 he headed a high-level public commission that drafted a new law on protective national security. Since retiring from the Foreign Service in 2016 he has served on several boards, and has also undertaken work on behalf of the Research Council of Norway. He joined NOREF as an associate in 2018.