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Press Releases, 1/21/2011

The Government proposes new ambassadorial appointments

On Thursday 20 January, the Government decided to propose to the President of the Republic six new appointments. The President of the Republic will appoint the Ambassadors in the presidential session on Friday 21 January.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Ilkka-Pekka Similä as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates as from 1 September 2011. Similä will move to Abu Dhabi from the Ministry’s Department for External Economic Relations in which he has served as Head of Unit since 2007. Similä entered the Ministry in 1989 and has held positions in the Department for External Economic Relations, Political Department and Department for Development Cooperation. His career in the diplomatic service includes postings to the Embassies in Vienna and Cairo and Finland’s Permanent Representation in Geneva, where he served as Head of the trade and economic sector in 2004–2007.

Head of the Finnish Embassy in Mexico, Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Ulla Väistö as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Bucharest, Romania as from 1 September 2011.
Väistö has served as the Finnish Ambassador to Mexico City since 2007. She entered the Ministry in 1976 and has also served in the diplomatic service in Brussels, Vienna, Bonn and Paris as well as in Finland’s Permanent Representation in Strasbourg. In the Ministry, Väistö has held positions in the Department for External Economic Relations, Political Department and Administrative Department. In 2001–2004 she served as Deputy Director General of Personnel and was appointed to the position of Director General of the Administrative Department for 2004¬–2007.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Kimmo Lähdevirta as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam as from 1 September 2011. Lähdevirta is currently serving as Minister at the Finnish Embassy in Beijing, China, a position that he has held since 2007. He entered the Ministry in 1990 and has held various positions in the Department for External Economic Relations and Political Department. His positions include Director of the Unit of the European Correspondent and Director of the Unit for Security Policy in the Political Department. Lähdevirta’s career in the diplomatic service has taken him also to the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN in New York and the Finnish Embassy in London.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Arja Makkonen as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine as from 1 September 2011. Makkonen will move to Kiev from the Finnish Embassy in Moscow where she has served as Minister since 2007. Makkonen entered the Ministry in 1989. She has held position in the Department for Development Cooperation, Department for External Economic Relation, Department for Europe, and EU Secretariat. In 2000–2003 she served as Adviser to Ministers Kimmo Sasi and Jari Vilén. Makkonen’s career in the diplomatic service includes postings to Finland’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels, the Embassies in Kuala Lumpur and Paris, where she was Press Counsellor. In 2003–2007 she served as Minister Counsellor in Warsaw, Poland.

Roving Ambassador, Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Ari Heikkinen as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Singapore as from 1 September 2011. Heikkinen has served as a non-resident Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro, based in Helsinki, since 2007. He entered the Ministry in 1987 and has held positions in the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Political Department and Department for External Economic Relations. In the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the Division for Eastern Affairs, Heikkinen served as Head of the Unit for the Northern Dimension from 1998 to 2001 and as Head of the Unit for Russia from 2001 to 2004. He has also held postings in the diplomatic service in the Consulate General of Finland in Leningrad, the Embassies in Teheran and Washington. Heikkinen has also been Head of the Political Unit in the Finnish Embassy in Moscow. In 2004–2007 he served as Minister at the Embassy in London.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Anne Lammila as Head of the Finnish Embassy in Mexico City in Mexico as from 1 September 2011. Lammila has served as Minister at the Finnish Embassy in Washington since 2007. She entered the Ministry in 1983. She has held various positions in the Department for External Economic Relations, Political Department and Department for the Americas and Asia. Lammila served as Head of the Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2001–2006. Her career in the diplomatic service includes postings to the Embassies in Paris and Brazil, the Permanent Mission of Finland to UNESCO in Paris, where she served as Deputy Permanent Delegate, and to the Embassy in Madrid, Spain.

The previous appointments – Harry Helenius to Stockholm, Pekka Lintu to Athens, Irma Ertman to Reykjavik and Pekka Hyvönen to the Council of Europe – were made by the President of the Republic on 30 December 2010. 

Older appointments can be accessed on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Further information: Deputy Director General for Personnel Pirkko Hämäläinen, tel. +358 9 1605 5401
 

This document

Updated 1/21/2011

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