New Ambassadors to Sofia and Luxemburg
The President of the Republic appointed today, 13 March, the following Ambassadors:
Appointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Tarja Laitiainen as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria as from 1 September 2009.
Laitiainen will take up her new post in Sofia leaving the Finnish Embassy in Luxembourg where she has been serving as Ambassador since 2005. She entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1981. She has worked for the Finnish Embassies in Lima and Tokyo as well as Finland's Permanent Mission to the UN, and the Permanent Delegations of Finland to the OECD and UNESCO. From 2002 to 2005, she served as Roving Ambassador for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and she has also written a book about her experiences during those years entitled Taksi Kabuliin (Otava 2006).
Laitiainen has also served as a national expert in the European Commission. In the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, she has held various posts in the Political Department, the Department for External Economic Relations and the Department for Development Policy, and served as Director of the Unit for Asia and Oceania.
Appointment of Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Marja Lehto as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Luxembourg as from 1 September 2009.
Lehto has been serving as Director of the Unit for Public International Law of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs since 2000. She joined the Ministry in 1985. She has held various posts in the Legal Department, the Political Department and the Department for External Economic Relations. As for her career in Finnish missions abroad, she has served the Embassy in Paris and Finland's Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.
Lehto chaired the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on Terrorism during the period 2006-2007. She has held several positions of trust in the UN General Assembly in the 1990s, i.a. as Chairman of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations in 1999. She also chaired the Ministry's Working Group on Gender Equality from 2003 to 2005.