Samuel D. Heins served as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway during President Obama's second term. He has been active in Minnesota DFL politics (Democratic Farmer Labor) since 1964 serving in organizing, campaigning and fundraising capacities. He practiced law for forty-five years, beginning his career as Law Clerk to U. S. District Judge Earl R. Larson (a founder of the DFL) and concluding as partner, with his spouse Stacey Mills, at the Minneapolis law firm of Heins, Mills & Olson. The firm engaged in a nationwide complex litigation practice.
Ambassador Heins was founder, in the 1980s, of the international human rights law NGO, the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, and a co-founder of the Center for Victims of Torture. He was a contributor to the Minnesota Protocol, the international standard for governments in instances of questionable death. The Protocol advances human rights law enforcement. The Protocol was adopted as the international standard by the U. N. General Assembly.