New Ambassadors to Kuala Lumpur, Bukarest, Islamabad, New York and Alger
The President of the Republic appointed today, 7 March, the following new Heads of diplomatic missions:
Appointment of Ambassador Tapio Saarela as Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as from 1 September 2008.
Mr Saarela entered the Ministry in 1971 and has served at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN, the Embassies of Belgrade and Vienna, as Consul General in Los Angeles and Ambassador in Sofia. At the Ministry, he has served at the Political Department and as Deputy Director General of the Protocol Department. During 2000- 2004, Mr Saarela served as Roving Ambassador for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Since 2004, he has been serving as Ambassador at the Finnish Embassy of Bucharest.
Appointment of Ambassador Irmeli Mustonen as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, as from 1 September 2008.
Ms Mustonen entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1976. She has been serving as Ambassador in Islamabad, Pakistan, since 2005, having acted as Chargée d'Affaires ad interim at the Embassy since 2003. As far as service in other missions abroad is concerned, Ms Mustonen has served at the Permanent Missions of Finland to the UN in New York and Geneva. At the Ministry, Ms Mustonen has worked for the Department for Administrative Affairs and occupied several positions at the Political Department of the Ministry.
Appointment of Ambassador Osmo Lipponen as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, as from 1 September 2008.
Since 2004, Mr Lipponen has been serving as Head of the Consulate General in New York. He entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1973 and has occupied several positions at the Ministry, i.a. at the Political Department. As regards service in missions abroad, he has served at the Embassies of Tokyo, Paris and Moscow. He has also held the position of Head of the Consulate General of St. Petersburg and served as Ambassador of Finland in Zagreb, Croatia. In addition, he occupied the post of Head of the Albanian mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2002.
Appointment of Ambassador Ritva Jolkkonen as Head of the Consulate General in New York, USA, as from 1 October 2008.
Jolkkonen will assume responsibility for a new post after her service as Ambassador in Buenos Aires, Argentina, since 2005. Jolkkonen has occupied a number of positions in development cooperation since 1974, i.a. in Peru and Kenya. At the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, she has been in charge of the Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and acted as Deputy Director General for UN development issues and in the direction of the Department for International Development Policy. She has also served as Ambassador in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Appointment of Ambassador Risto Veltheim as Roving Ambassador for Algeria
Mr Veltheim entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1971. He has served at the Finnish Embassies of Rome and Lima and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN in Geneva. He has also occupied the post of Roving Ambassador for the States of Central America and served as Ambassador in Buenos Aires. At the Ministry, he has worked, i.a., for the Department for External Economic Relations and the Political Department. Since 2005, he has been serving as Coordinator of affairs related to the Euromed at the Department for Africa and the Middle East.