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News, 3/6/2015

Several new Heads of Mission

At the presidential session on 6 March, the President of the Republic decided to appoint the following new Ambassadors:

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Pertti Ikonen is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Belgrad, Serbia, from 1 September 2015. Ikonen will move to Belgrad from the Department for Development Policy, where he is currently responsible for the tasks of Aid for Trade Coordinator. In the Diplomatic Service, Ikonen has served in the Embassies of Finland in Caracas, Tallinn and Copenhagen. His career in the Ministry includes positions in the Department for Development Policy and the Political Department. He joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1989.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Ritva Koukku-Ronde is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Berlin, Germany, from 1 September 2015. Koukku-Ronde will move to Berlin from the Embassy in Washington where she has served as Chief of Mission.  Before that she served as Under-Secretary of State for Development Cooperation and Development Policy. Koukku-Ronde joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1985. In addition to Washington, her career in the Diplomatic Service includes posts in the Finnish missions in Nairobi, The Hague, Bonn and Berlin. In the Ministry, Koukku-Ronde has held different position in the Press and Culture Department, the Political Department, the Department for Development Policy and the Department for Europe.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Anne Meskanen is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 1 September 2015. Meskanen will move to Kabul from the Embassy of Finland in Pristina, where she is serving as Chargé d'Affaires a.i. She has gained experience of Diplomatic Service posts in the Finnish Embassies in Bucharest, Romania, and Damaskus, Syria, and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN in New York.  In the Ministry, Meskanen has worked in the Secretariat for EU Affairs and the Department for Global Affairs. She joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1996.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Juha Virtanen is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Kiev, Ukraine, from 1 September 2015. Virtanen is currently serving as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Lima. Virtanen joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1987 and has held different position in the Political Department, the Legal Department and the Secretariat for Finland’s EU Presidency. In the Diplomatic Service, he has held posts in Madrid, Finland's Permanent Representation to the EC in Brussels, the Consulate General of Finland in St Petersburg and Paris, where he has served twice.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Mika Koskinen is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Lima, Peru, from 1 September 2015. Koskinen will move to Lima from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs where he is acting as Director of the Personnel Service Unit. In the Diplomatic Service, he has held posts in the Embassies of Finland in The Hague, Paris, Dublin and Madrid. In the Ministry, his career includes positions in the Secretariat for Finland’s EU Presidency and the Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean. Koskinen joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1995.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Päivi Luostarinen is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in London, Great Britain, from 1 September 2015. Luostarinen will move to London from the Embassy of Finland in Berlin, where she has served since 2011. Before that she was Director General of the Department for Europe. Luostarinen joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1981 and has served in the Legal Department, the Political Department, the Administrative Department and the Department for External Economic Relations. She has also held posts in the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN in New York and Finland's Permanent Representation to the European Union. Luostarinen served as a cabinet member for Commissioner Erkki Liikanen in the European Commission in Brussels in 1995–1996. 

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Roy Eriksson is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Mexico City, Mexico, from 1 September 2015. Eriksson joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1990 and will move to Mexico City from the position of Director for the Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean. He has held posts in the Embassies of Finland in Ankara, Ottawa and Berlin and in Finland's Permanent Representation to the European Union.  Eriksson has also worked in different position in the Department for External Economic Relations and the Department for Europe in the Ministry.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Anne Huhtamäki is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Pristina, Kosovo, from 1 September 2015. Huhtamäki will move to Pristina from the Permanent Delegation of Finland to UNESCO in Paris, where she is currently serving as Deputy Permanent Delegate. She has also served in the Permanent Mission of Finland in Geneva and the Consulate General in Los Angeles. In the Ministry, Huhtamäki has worked in many different departments. She joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1985.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Anne Vasara is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Rabat, Morocco, from 1 September 2015. Vasara will move to Rabat from Washington where she is currently serving as Deputy Chief of Mission. Before that she acted as Director of Personnel Planning. Vasara's career in the Diplomatic Service includes posts in the Permanent Delegation of Finland to the OECD in Paris, the Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels. Vasara joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1989. In the Ministry, she has held positions in the Department for External Economic Relations, the Political Department and the Department for Development Policy, in the EU Secretariat and the Administrative Department.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Kirsti Kauppi is to serve as Head of the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C., U.S.A, from 1 September 2015. Kauppi joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1983 and is currently acting as Director General of the Political Department. She has also worked in the Ministry's Political Department and the Department for Development Cooperation. Her most recent post in the Diplomatic Service was Vienna, where she served as Finland´s Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA and UN Agencies in Vienna. She has gained experience of Diplomatic Service posts also in the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok, Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels, the Embassy in Washington and the Embassy in Berlin.

Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Jan Wahlberg is to serve as Consul General at the Consulate General of Finland in Shanghai, China, from 1 July 2015. Wahlberg is currently acting as Director of the Unit for General EU Affairs and Coordination in the Department for Europe. He has gained experience of Diplomatic Service posts in Tokyo, Sofia and Madrid and Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels.  He joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1994 and has held different positions in the Ministry's Department for Europe.

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Updated 3/6/2015

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