New Heads of Mission
On 17 January the Government decided to put forward the following ambassadorial appointments and one side-accreditation to the President of the Republic:
Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Ilkka Räisänen, is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Astana, Kazakhsan, from 1 September 2013.
Räisänen will move to Astana from Minsk, Belarus, where he has served as Head of the Liaison Office under the Embassy of Finland in Vilnius, Lithuania, since 2010.
He joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1992 and has served in different positions, most recently in a task relating to energy issues in the EU External Action Service. In the Diplomatic Service, Räisänen has worked in the Embassies of Finland in Nairobi, Buenos Aires, Washington, and St Petersburg, where he served as Deputy Head of Mission. Räisänen has also spent a civil service exchange period in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia in Tallinn.
Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Okko-Pekka Salmimies is to serve as Head of the Permanent Delegation of Finland to the OECD in Paris, France, from 1 September 2013.
Salmimies served as Deputy Head of the Permanent Delegation of Finland to the OECD from 2005 to 2009. He has experience of the Diplomatic Missions also from Finland's Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels.
In the Ministry, Salmimies has held a number of positions in the Department for External Economic Relations, where he currently serves as Head of the Trade Policy Unit. He has also served as Head of the Unit for Non-governmental Organisations in the Department for Development Policy. He has experience of work in the Political Department and the Secretariat for Nordic Cooperation. He has also served as Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development..
Salmimies joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1997.
Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Liisa Talonpoika is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in the Hague, the Netherlands, from 1 September 2013. Before that she served in the EU Secretariat in the Prime Minister’s Office
Talonpoika will move to the Hague from the Department for Europe, where she has held the position of Deputy Director General since 2009.
Talonpoika joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1989. She has worked in the Department for Development Cooperation, the Department for External Economic Relations, and the Department for Press and Culture.
In the Diplomatic Service Talonpoika has served in the Antici Group in the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU in Brussels and in the Embassy of Finland in Paris.
The Head of the Embassy of Finland in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ambassador Leo Olasvirta, is to represent Finland also in South Sudan (side accreditation).
Enquiries: Vesa Lehtonen, Deputy Director General for Personnel, tel. +358 9 1605 5401