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News, 1/23/2009

New Ambassadors and Consuls General

The President of the Republic appointed today on the 23rd of January, the following persons as Heads of diplomatic missions abroad:

Lars BackströmAppointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Lars Backström as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Beijing, China as from 1 September 2009

Currently, Backström is serving as the Finnish Ambassador in Bangkok, a position held by him since 2005.

Backström entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1982, and he has served the Finnish Embassies in Mexico City, Ankara and Lagos as well as Finland's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and Finland's Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. In the Ministry, he has worked for the Political Department and, during 1997-2005, as Director of the Unit for Humanitarian Assistance.

Maarit JalavaAppointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Maarit Jalava as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark as from 1 September 2009.

Currently, Jalava occupies the post of Administrative Director of the Administrative Services of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She has been serving in this position since 2007.

Jalava joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1976 and has worked in the Ministry in the Administrative Department and the Department for External Economic Relations as well as the Department for Africa and the Middle East. From 1999 to 2004, she served as Director of the Terms of Employment Unit and as Director of the Personnel Unit from 2004 to 2006. From 2006 to 2007, held the post of Deputy Director General of the Administrative Department. She has also served the Finnish Embassy in Stockholm.

Laura KakkoAppointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Laura Kakko as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia as from 1 September 2009.

Since 2005, Kakko has been performing the duties of Deputy Director General of the Department for Europe of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Kakko started her career in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1990. In the Ministry, she has worked in the Press and Culture Department, the Political Department, the Unit for Asia, North America and Oceania as well as the Department for International Development Cooperation. She served as Director of the Unit for Neighbouring Area Cooperation of the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the years 2003-2005. Her diplomatic career has taken her to New Delhi, and she has served Finland's Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels, and the Finnish Embassy in Moscow.

Before joining the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Kakko served in various duties in the Finnish Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.

Antti KuosmanenAppointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Antti Kuosmanen as Head of the Finland's Permanent Mission to the OECD in Paris, France as from 1 September 2009.

Since 2005, Kuosmanen has been serving as the Finnish Ambassador in Beijing.

Antti Kuosmanen entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1976. He has served, i.a. in Geneva and Brussels as Deputy Head of Finland's Permanent Representation to the European Community. In the Ministry, he has occupied the post of Director of the integration office of the Department for External Economic Relations and as Deputy Director General of the EU Secretariat during Finland's EU membership negociations. From 1996 to 2002, he was Director General of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of the Council of the EU. Kuosmanen served as Director General of the Department for External Economic Relations from 2002 to 2005.

Pertti MajanenAppointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Pertti Majanen as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Dublin, Ireland as from 1 September 2009.

Since 2005, Majanen has been serving as Director of Finland's Permanent Mission to the OECD in Paris.

Majanen, who joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1974, has served the Finnish Embassies of Dar es Salaam and San José. He has occupied the post of Ambassador in the Finnish Embassy in Manila. As for his career in the Ministry, he has served in various duties in the Department for International Development Cooperation, i.a. as Director of the NGO Liaison Unit and the Units for Asia and Latin America. During 1995-1997, he was Director of the Unit of Development Policy and Coordination of the Department for International Development Cooperation.

From 2000 to 2005, he served as Under-Secretary of State for International Development Cooperation.

Marjatta RasiAppointment of Under-Secretary of State Marjatta Rasi as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Vienna, Austria as from 1 September 2009.

Since 2005, Rasi has occupied the post of Under-Secretary of State for International Development Policy.

Rasi entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1969. She has served the Finnish Embassies in London and Paris, and Finland's Permanent Mission to the United Nations. She has served as the Finnish Ambassador in Delhi during 1991-1995 and as Finland's Ambassador to the UN in 1997-2005. As for her career in the Ministry, she has occupied i.a. the post of Director of the Political Department and Director General of the Department for International Development Cooperation in the years 1995-1997.

Alpo RusiAppointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Alpo Rusi as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Bern, Switzerland as from 1 September 2009.

Since 2007, Rusi has been serving as Ambassador in the Staff of the Chairman of the of the 63rd General Assembly of the UN, and he was in charge i.a. of issues related to the reform of the UN and security as well as relations between the EU and the UN.

Rusi entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1973. He has served the Finnish Consulate General in Hamburg, the Embassy in Copenhagen, Finland's Permanent Mission to the UN and the Finnish Embassy in Bonn. As for his career in the Ministry, Rusi has worked for the Political Department as Director of the Unit of Planning and Research, Director of the Unit for Western Countries, Consulting Counsellor for European Affairs, and in the Unit for Western Balkans of the Department for Europe. During 2004-2007, he performed the duties of Roving Ambassador for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. In addition to these duties, he acted as Chairman of a working group assessing the future of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe.

From 1994 to 1999, Rusi performed the duties of Political Advisor to the President of the Republic, and in 1999-2000, as vice coordinator of the Stability Pact for the Western Balkans. Doctor of Social Sciences Rusi also held the post of Professor of International Policy of the University of Lapland in the beginning of the 2000s.

Pilvi-Sisko Vierros-VilleneuveAppointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Pilvi-Sisko Vierros-Villeneuve as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Paris, France as from 1 September 2009.

Currently, Vierros-Villeneuve is serving as Director General of the Political Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, a position held by her since 2005.

Vierros-Villeneuve, who joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1984, has served Finland's Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, the Finnish Embassy in Paris and Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels. As for her career in the Ministry, she has performed various duties in the Department for External Economic Relations and the Political Department. From 2000 to 2004, she served as Director of the Unit for Arms Control of the Political Department. She has carried on post-graduate studies inthe Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA) in France during 1988-1989.

Eero SuominenAppointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Eero Suominen as Head of the Finnish Consulate General in Canton, China as from 1 September 2009.

Since 2005, Suominen has been performing the duties of Minister-Counsellor in the Finnish Embassy in Vienna. He had entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1995. In the Ministry, he has worked in the Department for External Economic Relations, the Department for International Development Cooperation and Political Department, and the EU Secretariat. From 2000- 2005, he was Director of the Training Unit of the Adminstrative Department of the Ministry.

As for working for Finnish missions abroad, he has served the Finnish Embassies in Mexico City, Bonn, Rome and Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels.

Erja TikkaAppointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Erja Tikka as Head of the Finnish Consulate General in Hamburg, Germany as from 1 September 2009.

Since 2007, Tikka has held the position of Deputy Director General of the Department for Communication and Culture of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. From 2001 to 2007, she served as Director of the Information Unit of the Department.

Tikka started in the service of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1985 in the Press and Culture Unit and has worked as a Press Officer in the Finnish Embassies in Bonn and London.

During her career, Tikka has also performed the duties of Secretary of the Finnish Centre Party during the period 1990-1994. Before joining the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, she performed various duties in international organisations and as a reporter.

Maria SorsaAppointment of Administrative Second Secretary Maria Sorsa as Head of the Finnish Consulate in Las Palmas, Spain as from 1 September 2009.

Currently, Sorsa is working for the Unit for Security Policy and Crisis Management of the Political Department of the Ministry.

She started her career inthe Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1976, and, in the Ministry, she has worked for the Administrative Department, the Department for External Economic Relations and the Department for International Development Cooperation. Sorsa has performed various duties in the Finnish Embassies in Havanna, Madrid, Stockholm, Nairobi, Rome, Washington and Athens. From 2004-2008 she occupied the post of Consul in the Finnish Embassy in Madrid.


 

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Updated 1/23/2009

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