Tarja Halonen served two terms as President of Finland from 2000 to 2012. During her presidency, she was Co-Chair of the United Nations Millennium Summit, Co-Chair of the Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, Co-Chair of the UN High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability and Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders.
Prior to her election, she served as Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Minister of Justice, and Minister for Foreign Affairs. Over her political career, which began in 1974, President Halonen has paid close attention to promotion of democracy, human rights, and the role of civil society. Strengthening social justice and gender equality have been central themes.
President Halonen has been actively engaged with non-governmental organizations and trade unions. She is also Chair of the Board of the University of Helsinki. After her exit from the office, the TH Global Sustainability Foundation was established in 2012 to promote President Halonen’s work in the field of sustainable development.
She continues to work closely with the UN and is currently Alternate Co-Chair of the Every Woman Every Child Movement’s Steering Group, and a member of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation. Among other duties, she is also UN Global Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNCCD Land Ambassador, and a member of the Group of Eminent Persons (CTBT).