Press release 208/2013
30 September 2013
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs annual rotation of Heads of Mission has been completed. Most of the 24 new Heads of Mission took up their positions on 1 September.
Most Heads of Mission serve as Finnish Ambassadors in their country of assignment, and they are often accredited to represent Finland in other countries in the same region. Furthermore Heads of Mission have charge of Finland’s permanent missions in international organisations as well as Consulates General. Some Heads of Mission are Roving Ambassadors who are based in Helsinki.
The following Heads of Mission took up their posts on 1 September: Sirpa Mäenpää (Addis Ababa), Ilkka Räisänen (Astana), Kirsti Westphalen (Bangkok), Pilvi-Sisko Vierros-Villeneuve (Finland’s Permanent Representation to the European Union, Brussels), Hilkka Nenonen (Dublin), Liisa Talonpoika (The Hague), Tuula Yrjölä (Cairo), Ann-Marie Nyroos (Copenhagen), Outi Holopainen (Lisbon), Juha Markkanen (Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles), Roberto Tanzi-Albi (Madrid), Okko-Pekka Salmimies (Permanent Delegation of Finland to the OECD in Paris), Jari Gustafsson (Peking), Manu Virtamo (Tokyo), Anu Laamanen (Vienna), Katja Pehrman (Permanent Representative of Finland to the OSCE at the Embassy of Finland in Vienna) and Niklas Lindqvist (Roving Ambassador for Central Asia).
The following Ambassadors took up their posts earlier in the year: Christer Michelsson (Roving Ambassador for South Caucasus) in February, Ari Mäki (Kabul) and Aapo Pölhö (New Delhi) in May, and Tanja Jääskeläinen (Tunis) in August.
Risto Piipponen (Paris) and Timo Rajakangas (Zagreb) will be taking up their positions in October and Seija Toro (Maputo) in November.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs usually times the annual rotation for its Heads of Mission to take place at the beginning of September. Heads of Mission generally serve at a post to which they are stationed for three to four years. They may then move on to a second posting elsewhere before they return to the Ministry in Helsinki.
The appointment rounds are initially prepared at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The final decision concerning appointments is made by the President of the Republic.
Finland has a total of 92 diplomatic missions around the world, with a combined staff of 568 civil servants sent out from Helsinki. Most missions have a staff of 2-4 civil servants from Helsinki. In addition the embassies employ about 1,190 locally hired staff members.
Additional information: Under-Secretary of State Peter Stenlund, tel. +358 295 350 618