The Rector of the University of Lapland has, following the proposal of the Arctic Centre board, appointed PhD Johanna Ikävalko as the Director of the Arctic Centre for the next five-year period, 2021-2025. She will start in her new position in February.
Doctor Ikävalko is an experienced actor in Arctic research and science policy, and she has held notable leadership positions in these fields. Currently, in the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI, her tasks are related to climate information needs in the society and policy recommendations for the Arctic Council AMAP working group. Previously, she was ministerial adviser at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, head of marine research unit at FMI and head of environment at the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) . She has also held several other positions prior to these. Her scientific background is in polar biology.
– I accept with gratitude my new role as the Director of the Arctic Centre. The institution is unique also on an international scale and I am really honoured to be chosen as the director. I have much experience in leadership and an extensive Arctic expertise and I am positive that these will benefit the Arctic Centre and its partners. In my heart I have passion for science, arts, and culture, and all these fields are in a unique way combined at the Arctic Centre, says Ikävalko.
The Arctic Centre directors are appointed for five-year periods. What is new compared to the previous practice is that no research duties are included in the position. Professor Timo Koivurova, who served as the director from 2015 to 2020 will continue as research professor.
Antti Syväjärvi, the Rector of the University of Lapland, warmly thanks for Koivurova for his work and accomplishments.
̶ During his directorship, Koivurova succeeded excellently and for his part, he strengthened Arctic Centre’s key role in the heart of Arctic activities and policy work. This was especially manifested when Finland was the chair of the Arctic Council. The Arctic Centre now has a strong position both nationally and internationally. Koivurova will continue his research as one of the leading experts in Arctic matters, says Syväjärvi.
Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland is a multidisciplinary research institute with a strong focus on popularizing Arctic science. It has a staff of about 60 persons and its activities are very internationally oriented.
Rector Antti Syväjärvi
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