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Martti Ahtisaari

Martti AhtisaariBorn: 23-Jun-1937
Birthplace: Viipuri, Finland

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Head of State, Diplomat
Party Affiliation: See Note [1]

Nationality: Finland
Executive summary: President of Finland, 1994-2000

Military service: Finnish Army Reserve (1959-61, to Captain)

Martti Ahtisaari was born in Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg, Russia), and began his career in diplomacy working as a school administrator in Pakistan, on a project co-sponsored by the YMCA and the Swedish government. He became a student activist while attending the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, and then spent nearly three decades working in foreign relations, including an assignment at the UN office that shepherded Namibia to independence in the late 1980s and several years as Finnish Secretary of State. In his first and only run for elected office, he won the Finnish Presidency in 1994. During his six-year term he campaigned for acceptance of the European Union, Finland became the first Nordic nation to adopt the Euro currency, and his nation built of one of the world's most advanced telecommunications networks. In 1999, Ahtisaari and Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin convinced President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia to accept a negotiated end to the conflict in Kosovo. After leaving office in 2000, Ahtisaari founded the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), an independent non-profit organization that works in crisis management and conflict resolution. In 2005 Ahtisaari and CMI negotiated a settlement between Aceh rebels and the Indonesian government, ending thirty years of warfare. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008. His son, Marko Ahtisaari, was a long-time bassist for the Finnish-American rock band Afterimage, and is presently an executive with the Blyk free mobile phone network.


[1] Social Democratic.

Father: Oiva Alvar Adolfsen Ahtisaari (Norwegian military officer)
Mother: Tyyne Ahtisaari
Wife: Eeva Irmeli Hyvärinen Ahtisaari (teacher, b. 1936, m. 1968, one son)
Son: Marko Oiva Ilari Ahtisaari (rock musician-entrepreneur, b. 1969)

    High School: Kuopio Lyseo, Kuopio, Finland (1952)
    University: BS, University of Oulu (1959)
    University: Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration (attended 1963-64)

    Nobel Peace Prize 2008
    Order of Australia 2002
    UNESCO Peace Prize 2000
    Four Freedoms Medal 2000
    Fulbright Prize for International Understanding 2000
    Zamenhof Prize for International Understanding 1995
    Crisis Management Initiative Founder and Chairman (2000-)
    UN Envoy Future Status Process for Kosovo (2005-08)
    UN Envoy Horn of Africa (2003-05)
    Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Personal Envoy for Central Asia (2003-04)
    UN Official Arms Inspector, Northern Ireland (2000)
    President of Finland (1994-2000)
    UN Official Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Former Yugoslavia (1993)
    Finnish Official Secretary of State (1991-93)
    UN Official Undersecretary General for Administration and Management (1987-91)
    Finnish Official Undersecretary, International Development Cooperation:1984-86
    UN Official Commissioner for Namibia:(1977-78)
    Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania:(1973-76)
    Finnish Official Deputy Director, Dept for International Development (1972-73)
    Finnish Official Bureau for Technical Cooperation, Foreign Affairs Ministry (1965-72)
    Swedish Official Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation:(1961-63)
    Member of the Board of Elcoteq SE
    Member of the Board of Inter Press Service International Association
    Member of the Board of ImagineNations Group
    African Development Bank Board of Governors
    American-Scandinavian Foundation Honorary Trustee
    Asian Development Bank Board of Governors
    Balkan Children and Youth Foundation Chairman
    Club of Madrid
    EastWest Institute Board of Directors
    Eurasia Foundation Advisory Committee
    EUSTORY Board of Directors
    European Council on Foreign Relations Co-Chairman
    Finnish National Opera Chairman
    Inter-American Development Bank Board of Governors
    International Fund for Agricultural Development Board of Governors
    International Youth Foundation Global Action Council
    Young Men's Christian Association Karachi, Pakistan (1959-63)
    Interpeace Chairman
    Northern Research Forum
    Vyborg Library International Committee
    Funeral: Nelson Mandela (2013)
    Norwegian Ancestry (paternal)
    Finnish Ancestry
    Norwegian Ancestry

Author of books:
Kehitysmaat ja Suomi (Developing Nations and Finland) (1973)
Should the EU Be Redesigned? (1999)
Finns in the United Nations (1996)


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