Building Cultural Bridges



By Shereen Shabnam

For this issue, the Millennium Millionaire team met with Her Excellency Marianne Nissila, Ambassador of Finland to the UAE who has recently arrived in the UAE and looks after the overall management of the Embassy and representing Finland in the UAE and other countries in the region. 

Born in 1966 in Aanekoski, Finland, Her Excellency Marianne studied Maîtrise en Politique Internationale, Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Bachelor of Social Sciences (International Relations), University of Tampere,

Diplomacy is her passion as prior to assuming the role of the Ambassador of Finland to the United Arab Emirates, Her Excellency Marianne was the Ambassador for Education Export, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Department for External Economic Relations, Helsinki for three years.

In her vast diplomatic career, Her Excellency Marianne has fulfilled many roles that include being Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union, Brussels and Counsellor in charge of the negotiations on Multiannual Financial Framework.

From 2005 to 2008, she was also the Deputy to the Ambassador (Minister-Counsellor) at Embassy of Finland in The Hague and from 2003 to 2005 Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Helsinki.

Her Excellency Marianne has also fulfilled the role of Political Counsellor at the Embassy of Finland in Paris after being Assistant European Correspondent, Ministry for Foreign Affairs as well as being Attaché, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Political Department and Department for External Economic Relations. She had started her career in 1996 as a National Expert, European Commission, Directorate General for Development, Brussels.

Her Excellency Marianne started her new position on 1st of June this year and is a newcomer here in the local Diplomatic circles having represented her credential letter to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed recently.

So far, she has had a really a very busy start understanding the regional situation, attending meetings, following up the political developments and overseeing two ministerial visits here which are always highlights in the life of Embassy. She has already hosted visits by the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Speaking of the UAE, Her Excellency Marianne has had the most wonderful experience so far and thinks it is a very interesting country looking at what has happened here during the past 50 years and the achievements are really impressive.

And as for the plans for the future, Her Excellency Marianne hopes to follow and understand how things are developed in the UAE and what will be happening at Expo 2020 which will be a big opportunity UAE and for Finland.

On the personal front, Her Excellency Marianne is married with one daughter who is going to be 18 now.  She will be re-married in December and with her new husband she will have a stepdaughter and a stepson who are 17 and 15. 

We wish Her Excellency Marianne the very best both in her personal and professional life and hope to see more collaborations between the UAE and Finland.

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