On September 1, Ritva Koukku-Ronde assumed her post as the appointed Ambassador of Finland to the United States. “I’m excited to be Finland’s first female ambassador to the United States,” says Mrs. Koukku-Ronde, who comes to Washington after serving in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for almost three decades.
Ambassador Koukku-Ronde has worked in various positions in the foreign ministry in Helsinki and at Finnish diplomatic missions abroad. Before her posting as ambassador, she served as the Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki.
“I am very honored to serve my country in the United States of America and I am looking forward with great enthusiasm to promote our manifold relations in every possible way.”
The relations between Finland and the United States are excellent. The ties between Finns and Americans date back almost four centuries, when the first Finnish immigrants settled in America. Nowadays our cooperation is diverse and covers almost all sectors of society.
The ambassador notes that despite differences in size and geographic location, Finland and the United States share many mutual interests. We have the same values of democracy, human rights, equality and rule of law.
Ritva Koukku-Ronde begins her post in Washington in the midst of tumultuous economic times.
“The recent economic turbulence has not changed the fact that the United States of America and Finland are two dynamic nations and our economies are among the most competitive in the world. We both believe that an open market economy can best promote prosperity.”
During her term the ambassador seeks to develop further the relationship between the two countries in the areas of economy, education, security, environment, high technology and culture – to mention just a few. As a member of the European Union, Finland is keen to see the transatlantic cooperation grow stronger.
“Our embassy itself, which is the first LEED certified green embassy in the United States, serves as a showcase for Finland’s openness, functionality, innovation and environmental sustainability including energy efficiency”, she says.
“I would also like to emphasize that we operate as a House of Finland, in which different actors – Foreign Ministry, the Defense Forces, Finnode, Finpro, Tekes and VTT Technical Research Center – work together to enhance the relations between Finland and the US.”
"I am very much looking forward to working with all of you."