Ambassadors Up-Close: Nordic Security Transformed in Finland and Sweden

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Ambassadors Up-Close: Nordic Security Transformed in Finland and Sweden

The ambassador of Sweden to the US and the ambassador of Finland to the US will discuss their countries joining NATO and other issues.

By School of International Service

When and where

Date and time

Wednesday, February 8 · 4:30 - 5:30pm EST


American University, School of International Service, Founders Room 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016

About this event

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was a fundamental and immediate shock to the European security order and especially for the Nordic countries. Finland and Sweden both formally announced their decision to apply for NATO membership in May 2022 and are on course to become the 31st and 32nd members of the Atlantic Alliance once they secure ratification from Hungary and Turkey. H.E. Karin Olofsdotter, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, and H.E. Mikko Hautala, Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to the United States, will discuss this major shift for their countries and touch upon other issues. SIS professor Garret Martin will moderate this conversation, followed by an audience Q&A.


Mikko Hautala became the ambassador of Finland to the United States in September 2020. Prior to that (2016-2020), he served as Ambassador of Finland to Russia. In 2012-2016, he worked as the foreign policy adviser to the President of the Republic of Finland. In 2011, he was appointed deputy head of mission to Embassy of Finland to Russia located in Moscow. He has also served as the diplomatic advisor the to minister for foreign affairs (2007-2011) as well as the first secretary at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU in Brussels (2002-2007). In the beginning of his career, he has served as attaché at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki (2001-2002) and as attaché at the Embassy of Finland in Kyiv, Ukraine (1998-2001). He joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in 2001.

Karin Olofsdotter took up her post as ambassador of Sweden to the United States on September 1, 2017. Prior to assuming her current role as Ambassador to the United States, she served as director-general for trade at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She has also held the position of deputy director-general and head of the Department for Promotion of Sweden, Trade, and CSR at the Foreign Ministry. Ambassador Olofsdotter is an accomplished diplomat. Her career in the Foreign Service started in 1994 with her first posting to the Embassy of Sweden in Moscow. In the years following, she worked in security policy and defense issues as well as in numerous leadership posts within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, including serving as chief of staff for several of its ministers and director of the Ministers’ Office. She has also served as part of the Swedish delegation to NATO and at the Swedish EU Representation in Brussels, working with European security policy and defense issues. In 2008, she was asked to serve as deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC. She served at the post for three years before starting her first ambassadorial position as ambassador of Sweden to Hungary in 2011.

Garret Martin (moderator) is a professor at American University's School of International Service, as well as the co-director of the school's Transatlantic Policy Center. He has written widely on transatlantic relations and Europe, both in the field of history and contemporary affairs, and focuses in particular on security, US foreign policy, NATO, European politics, European foreign policy and defense, Europe, the European Union, France and the UK. He is a frequent media commentator, providing analysis and interviews, among others, to NPR, the BBC, CNN, Voice of America, USA Today, WUSA, ABC News Australia and France 24.

This event is co-sponsored by the Transatlantic Policy Center, and the American University International Relations Society (AMIRS) Ask a Diplomat branch.

About the organizer

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