Diplomatic Circles

Christina Leadlay
Published: Wednesday, 09/15/2004 12:00 am EDT

On Sept. 1, the embassy of Finland welcomed its new ambassador, Pasi Patokallio. A career diplomat, Mr. Patokallio studied International Relations at Finland's University of Tampere, receiving his Master's degree in 1973. He joined the Finnish Foreign Service a year later, and worked in a variety of positions at headquarters from 1974 to 1978. Mr. Patokallio was sent on his first overseas posting in 1978 to Finland's embassy in the United States were he served as Attaché in charge of political affairs for three years. From Washington, he was directly sent to the Finnish mission in Tokyo, Japan. After working as Second Secretary there from 1981 to 1983, Mr. Patokallio returned to Helsinki. He was promoted to the rank of First Secretary and spent three years as a Desk Officer for CSCE Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. By 1986, Mr. Patokallio was based in Geneva, representing his country at its Permanent Mission to the United Nations. For two years, he served simultaneously as Counsellor and Finnish Observer to the UN's Disarmament Conference. Mr. Patokallio continued at the UN through 1989, but exchanged his European base for an American vantage point, serving at the UN's New York headquarters as a member of the Permanent Finnish delegation, first as Counsellor and then as Minister-Counsellor, from 1991 to 1993. Mr. Patokallio returned home to coordinate Non-Proliferation Affairs at the Ministry, and then to direct the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control division for two years. By 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Director General for Political Affairs. Mr. Patokallio resumed his role in international diplomacy in 1998 when he was assigned to head the embassy of Finland in Israel, which he did from 1998 to 2003. From then until now, he was involved in academia, as a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Mr. Patokallio is now in Ottawa to head Finland's mission to Canada. He succeeds Ilkka Ristimakki who departed in August.

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