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Sitra’s President to leave – Jyrki Katainen to move to a private company in the summer

Jyrki Katainen has led Sitra since the beginning of 2020.


Sitra’s President Jyrki Katainen will resign his position as the leader of the future fund in the summer. He will become a partner in an internationalising growth company with a Finnish background. The company will provide more details about this during the spring. According to Katainen, the company’s operations are not related to Sitra’s field of activities, and it is not a communications agency.

“The work at Sitra for a successful Finland for tomorrow has been incredibly inspiring, and I was in no hurry to leave the future fund,” says Katainen.

“The opportunity to jump aboard a Finnish, internationalising company came as a surprise. I’m 51 years old and I have been working for a long time in public-sector positions and societal influencing. I still want to challenge myself by doing something different.”

Sitra’s task is to accelerate Finland’s development, sustainable economic growth and competitiveness, to create work and well-being for future generations.

During Katainen’s tenure, Sitra has realigned its work. In addition to generating foresight information and offering societal training, Sitra’s focus has largely been on fighting the ecological sustainability crisis, on the fair data economy and on the development of democracy and engagement. The aim is to create a fair, sustainable and inspiring future that ensures people’s well-being within the limits of the earth’s carrying capacity.

The Finnish future fund has also become an influential presence within the EU during Jyrki Katainen’s presidency. Sitra is renowned in Brussels as an expert in the fair data economy, especially in the responsible use of health data and the promotion of sustainable lifestyle practices.

“In many cases, the most influential change can be achieved at the EU level. Therefore, it is important for a strong player like Sitra to also be engaged in accelerating change throughout the EU.”

Strong international network builder

Jyrki Katainen is the ninth President in Sitra’s 55-year history. He assumed the leadership of Sitra at the beginning of 2020 from his position as the EU Commission’s Vice-President responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness. Between 2011 and 2014, he was Prime Minister of Finland, following four years as Minister of Finance.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Chair of Sitra’s Board of Directors, Anita Lehikoinen, spoke of Jyrki Katainen’s efforts: “He provided excellent international networks and strong experience in societal decision-making for the whole of Finland while working at Sitra. In a rapidly changing world, Jyrki’s insight and skills have been extremely valuable to Sitra.”

Sitra’s Board of Directors will launch the search for Katainen’s successor immediately. The position will be open to the public. The selection of the President will be decided by Sitra’s Supervisory Board on the Board of Directors’ proposal.

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