For Immediate Release: December 18, 2014
Former President of Finland Named as Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School
CAMBRIDGE MA — Tarja Halonen, who served two terms as President of the Republic of Finland (2000-12), has been named as Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), it was announced today by HKS Dean David T. Ellwood. Halonen will begin her fellowship in February 2015.
Halonen has an impressive and lengthy background in public service, having held a number of elected and appointed positions. Prior to her election as the first female President in Finnish history, she served as Minister for Foreign Affairs (1995-2000); Minister of Justice (1990-91); Minister for Nordic Cooperation (1989-91); and Minister at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (1987-90). She also held a number of top committee positions while serving a member of the Finnish Parliament from 1979 to 2000. Prior to her time in national office, Halonen served as a trade union attorney (1970-74; 1975-79) and as a member of the Helsinki City Council (1977-96).
Halonen has held various national and international honorary positions including as Co-Chair of the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (2010-12), Co-Chair of the International Labour Organization (ILO) World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization (2002-04) and Co-Chair of the UN Millennium Summit in 2000. Among many other positions, she is currently the Co-Chair of the High Level Task Force for International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) (2012-) and a member of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (2014-). A graduate of Helsinki University, Halonen also holds 17 honorary university degrees.
”President Halonen is an accomplished and inspiring leader, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of human rights and sustainable development while in high office,” said Ellwood. ”She brings a wealth of skills and experience and a passion for public service that will resonate with the entire Kennedy School community, and we look forward to welcoming her to campus.”
As Angelopoulos Fellow, President Halonen will become an active participant in the academic and intellectual life of the school, collaborating with scholars and researchers, lecturing, writing and meeting with students.
”I am very excited about the fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School and the opportunity to foster dialogue between politics and academia,” said Halonen. ”One particular focus during my stay will be sustainable development as it is a topic I have been working on very much in recent years and will be extremely relevant in 2015.”
The Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders program provides opportunities for high-profile leaders who are transitioning out of public office or other leadership positions to spend time in residence at Harvard for teaching, learning and research. The program was established with support from Gianna Angelopoulos, Olympic organizer, Ambassador of the Greek State, lawyer and former Member of Parliament. Angelopoulos is an active Member of the Clinton Global Initiative and serves as Vice-Chairman of the HKS Dean’s Council.
”Her impressive track record of public leadership makes Tarja Halonen an ideal candidate to serve as Angelopoulos Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School,” said Angelopoulos. ”She will have the opportunity to engage with students, scholars and faculty on a range of policy areas drawing upon her expertise in local and national government, as well as her work on important international issues. I am honored to have her serve as the second Angelopoulos Public Leaders Fellow.”
Harvard Kennedy School maintains an abiding commitment to advancing the public interest by training skilled, exceptional leaders and solving public problems through world-class scholarship and active engagement with practitioners and decision makers. The school offers the depth, reflection, insight, and excellence of ideas and teaching that can shape future leaders, affect public policies, and make an impact on people and their daily lives.
Media Contact: Doug Gavel, (617) 495-1115