July 24 – 28, 2024

Opening Presenter: Jarno Limnell
Panelists: Jarno Limnell, Jarmo Sareva, Thomas Hanson

Throughout the 20th century, Finland has maintained carefully crafted diplomatic relations with Russia. At the same time, Finland has also maintained an active military readiness. Today, that readiness is on high alert, and diplomatic relations have shifted. In spite of Russia’s threats, Finland has joined NATO. This panel will give audience members an opportunity to understand more deeply what this means.

Panel discussion about Finland’s current situation with Russia will follow the opening presentation.

Presenter Bio: Jarno Limnell is a Member of Parliament in Finland, a Doctor of Military Science and a member of expert network in the World Economic Forum. He serves as an adjunct professor in three different universities in the area of cybersecurity. Limnell has worked with safety, security and security policy, technology, teaching and people for more than 25 years: as an officer in the Finnish Defense Forces, in management positions within the private sector and as a professor at a university.

Panelist’s Bios:
Jarmo Sareva was appointed Consul General of Finland in New York effective September 1, 2022. Prior to his appointment to New York, Mr. Sareva served in Helsinki as Finland’s Ambassador for Cyber Affairs from 2021 to 2022 and as Finland’s first Ambassador for Innovation from 2018 to 2021.
Ambassador Sareva brings to his position a wealth of experience from both multilateral and bilateral diplomacy. From 2006 to 2018, he served in various positions at the UN in New York and Geneva, including as Director of the Geneva Branch of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
Ambassador Sareva’s previous diplomatic experience includes serving as Director for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation in Helsinki and as Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN in New York, as well as postings in Moscow, Washington, D.C., and Vienna. In the early 2000s, he served as the Chef de Cabinet of the President of the 55th session of the UN General Assembly, and as Special Assistant to Dr. Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).

Thomas Hanson is a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State whose diplomatic postings included East Germany, France, Norway, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. He also participated in the opening of new U.S. embassies in Mongolia and Estonia, worked on the Foreign Relations Committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and served as Director for NATO and European Affairs at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Hanson currently is Diplomat in Residence at the Alworth Institute for International Affairs at the University of Minnesota – Duluth and has taught diplomacy at Carleton College. He also serves as Chair of the Minnesota Committee on Foreign Relations and as Co-Chair of the Minnesota China Business Council. He is a past board member of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights and Director at the Institute for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (IEECA). He is also a member of the U.S. Foreign Policy Working Group of the British International Studies Association (BISA) as well as the Council of Advisers at the Museum of Russian Art and the Minnesota Peace Initiative (MPI) at Norway House.

This presentation is made possible by: Finlandia Foundation National and Finnair.