The Finnish Institute in Germany was founded by the Foundation for the Finnish Institute in Germany and opened in 1994. The Foundation's Board is the Institute's operational and institutional link to Finland. The members of the Foundation's Board of Trustees serve in an advisory capacity to the Finnish Institute, as does the Advisory Board, which consists of representatives from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 

Foundation for the Finnish Institute in Germany

The purpose of the Foundation for the Finnish Institute in Germany, located in Helsinki, is to foster and promote cultural, academic and economic relations between Finland and the German-speaking countries. To achieve this objective, the Foundation maintains the Finnish Institute in Germany, secures the finances required for its activities, and expands the cooperation network.


Strategy 2019−2021 (in German)

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Eija Salmi


Eija Salmi studied art history and German philology at the University of Helsinki before starting employment at the Kone Corporation, where she worked for several years. In 1990, she took over as head of the Department for International Affairs at what is known today as Aalto University in Helsinki, School of Art and Design. She currently serves as Secretary-General of the Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges in Art, Design and Media.

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Markus Lehtinen

Deputy Chairperson

Markus Lehtinen studied conducting with Jorma Panula, piano with Meri Louhos and composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Following engagements and guest conductor appearances at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, the National Opera of Finland, with Sinfonia Lahti, at the Vienna State Opera and the Bolshoi Theatre, he is currently musical director of John Neumeier's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Hamburg Ballett.

Board Members
Ilkka Ahtiainen, Dr. Jan Feller, Prof. Dr. Kimmo Grönlund, Marjo Mäenpää


Authorised Representative of the Foundation
Aino Haanrinne, Tel. +358 40 822 8485



Advisory Board of the Finnish Institute in Germany

The Advisory Board serves in an advisory capacity to the Finnish Institute in Germany. Members represent academia as well as the cultural and economic sectors of Finland.

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Prof. Dr. Birgit Jank


Birgit Jank completed her doctorate and post-doctoral habilitation in music education at the Humboldt Universität Berlin. In addition, she completed her vocal studies at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin. She has held professorships at the University of Potsdam, Berlin University of the Arts, Universität Hamburg and at the Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin in education, social work and music education. The co-founder and shareholder of the Clara Hoffbauer Hochschule Potsdam, which combines the fields of social work with areas of aesthetics in dual study programmes, is also vice president of the Landesmusikrat Brandenburg (Brandenburg State Music Council).

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Klaus von Lepel, MSc (LSE)

Deputy Chairperson

Klaus von Lepel studied law, politics, history and Finno-Ugrik studies in Göttingen, Helsinki, Freiburg and London; he later became a solicitor. He worked for the government of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg until 2001 and in 2007, joined the Hamburg Behörde für Wissenschaft und Forschung. Klaus von Lepel is also active in the Baltic Science Network, one of the leading science policy networks in the Baltic Sea region. He is also involved in the Forum Northern European Politics (FOR:N), the Finnish-German Trade Guild Hamburg (FDHG) and the Innovation Centre Hamburg-Bahrenfeld.

Advisory Board Members

Karl-Friedrich von Knorre, Mari Koskela, Timo Miettinen, Dr. Christine Nippe, Prof. Dr. Marko Pantermöller, Sebastian Pflum, Dr. Angela Plöger, Marianne Sinemus-Ammermann, Carmen Steimann Sager, Prof. Dr. Ralph Tuchtenhagen, Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Weise, Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung



Board of Trustees for the Finnish Institute in Germany

The function of the Board of Trustees is to advise the Finnish Institute in Germany. Members represent academia as well as the cultural and economic sectors of Finland.

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Esa Hämäläinen


Esa Hämäläinen is the Head of Administration, member of the group management and the Head Secretary of the Board at the University of Helsinki. He has previously worked as the Head of Administration at the Theatre Academy, Head of Unit at the University of Helsinki and as an expert at the School of Arts (now Aalto-University).

Board of Trustees Members
Pia Bärlund, Anna Baijars, Alexander Bargum, Frank Brümmel, Joachim Bussian, Kimmo Elo, Annette Forsén, Seppo Haario, Hanna-Leena Hemming, Maximilian Hennig, Kari Hietanen, Pirjo Hirvonen, Niklas Jensen-Eriksen, Tiina Kinnunen, Erkki Korhonen, Christian Krötzl, Asko Lehmuskallio, Luise Liefländer-Leskinen, Julia Lohmann, Salla Luomanmäki, Heikki Masalin, Arja Miller, Tiina Rajamäki, Lea Ryynänen-Karjalainen, Katariina Siltavuori, Samuel Wolf Sorainen, Tiia Strandén, Annika Tudeer, Liisa Tiittula, Stefan Wallin



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