FIIA reinforces a project on Finnish foreign and security policy with several appointments. The Director Mika Aaltola has appointed Harri Mikkola as the leading research fellow and Mariette Hägglund as junior research fellow on 15th of November. Henri Vanhanen will join the research project as junior research fellow in the beginning of January. All appointments are for the duration of one year. After the initial first year, there will be an open in-house call for the leading fellow position.
Dr Harri Mikkola has worked as a research fellow and senior research fellow at FIIA since 2011. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Tampere in 2013. Mikkola has published several expert analyses on the Arctic region’s transformation. His fields of expertise include the Arctic region, geostrategy and geopolitics, defence and security policy, hybrid influencing, societal resilience, security of supply as well as defence market issues. Prior to joining the FIIA, Mikkola worked as a Researcher at the Finnish Defence Command, at the University of Tampere, and as a Visiting Researcher at the University of Minnesota, USA.

Mariette Hägglund holds an MA degree in Peace, Mediation and Conflict research from Tampere University. Previously she has worked as a research assistant in a think tank at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University in the U.S., with the United Nations in South Africa and the Finnish representations in Geneva and Tehran. In conjunction with two research projects, she has also conducted field research in Iraq. Hägglund has published articles in Finnish and American news outlets, and she contributes as a writer to the Finnish online outlet The Ulkopolitist.
Henri Vanhanen holds n M.Soc.Sci degree from the University of Turku. He has previously worked as a Parliamentary Assistant in the Finnish Parliament and has work experience from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, European Parliament and the US State Department as well as the US Department of Defense. He also writes for The Ulkopolitist. He specializes in Finnish foreign, security and defense policy, as well as European and US security issues.
The procedure to appoint the leading researcher and junior researchers was based on interviews and on their previous applications sent for the FIIA open call for researcher positions during summer 2019. These applications detailed the research record as well as gave a clear indication of possible future focus areas. The interviews and applications demonstrated a strategic focus on the key areas of the Finnish foreign and security policy.
The project on Finnish foreign and security policy is a strategic excellence initiative that solidifies one key area of FIIA’s research mission. The initiative is supervised by the Director. The project produces strategic level research on Finnish foreign and security policy; it explores geostrategic positioning of Finland, assesses policy and provides both public debate and policy makers with perspectives and assessments of Finnish foreign and security policy and related policy options. The project aims to support and facilitate the development of broader Finnish Foreign and Security Policy research, drawing on existing networks and bringing together experts in the field in the form of publications and events. In 2020, the project will focus on the Swedish-Finnish defence and security cooperation. FIIA’s Finnish foreign policy project has previously consisted of a seminar series on Finnish foreign policy, EILEN archive and Finnish Foreign Policy Papers publication series.