The new Consul General of Finland, Stefan Lindström, started in his post in Los Angeles on January 1. Stefan has worked in the Foreign Ministry for 20 years. During his career, he has focused especially on issues related to trade and economics.
Stefan is a career diplomat. Prior to this assignment he worked as the Deputy Director responsible for trade and economic relations with the United States at the Department for the Americas and Asia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki.
"Although the United States is currently Finland’s third largest export destination, our exports is still small compared to what it could be. I have always worked with the view that there is no “I” in the word and concept of teamwork, and cooperation and collaboration with partners in the U.S. and in Finland forms the backbone to the Consulates’ Team Finland activities," Stefan says.
He believes that in digital society the value of information grows by sharing, and sharing is really the key point in serving Finnish companies: sharing your networks and useful information about openings, experiences and best practices.
"Networking is about making connections, spotting opportunities and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships. We aim to serve as a resource, to help others succeed. Ultimately, it’s not about who you know but who knows you, who trusts you and who is willing to work with you," Stefan says.
From 2010 to 2014, Stefan worked as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Finnish Embassy in Portugal, where he was responsible for issues related to trade and economy and monitoring the European economic crisis. From 2007 to 2010, he was a Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Finnish Embassy in Indonesia, where he was the head of the trade and development sectors. Between 2005 and 2007 he worked as an adviser to the undersecretary of state for legal and administrative affairs at the Ministry in Helsinki.
This is not Stefan’s first time working in Los Angeles. Between 2001 and 2005 he served as the Deputy Consul General of Finland in Los Angeles, dealing with trade and investment promotion activities.
From 1997 to 2001, Stefan served as the second secretary at the Finnish Embassy in India, responsible for trade and consular sectors. Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1997, he worked as a legal adviser for the European Commission DG Transport in Brussels, and as a research assistant at the London School of Economics Center for Environmental Law and Policy, as well as for the Rettig Shipowning Group of Finland as a shipbroker engaging in ship sales and chartering.
Stefan has a Master's Degree both in Economics from the London School of Economics and in International Law from the Åbo Akademi University. He expects to defend his doctoral thesis in International Law during 2017. He speaks fluent Finnish, Swedish, English and German, and is proficient in Portuguese, Danish and Norwegian.
Stefan is married to Helena, who works as a litigation attorney, and they have two sons. His personal interests are often associated with golf, hunting, investments and DIY building.