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Marjo Timonen

Marjo Hannele Timonen
Born April 29, 1955, Kurikka

Bachelor of Arts 1983, Master of Arts 1984 (Finnish history, general history, political science, journalism), University of Helsinki

Director of information and communication 2007–, Parliament of Finland
Head of information 2003–07, Parliament of Finland
Special advisor 1994–95, Prime Minister’s Office
Head of communications 1993–2002, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities
Head of communications 1988–93, Finnish Municipal Association
Head of communications 1986–87, Insaider Oy
Press officer 1985–86, University of Joensuu
Chairman 1980–81, National Union of University Students in Finland

Photo: Hanne Salonen
Written by Marjo Timonen (Kaija Hartikainen, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

The Dark, Proud Daughter of the Plains

The dark, proud daughter of the plains is a description many authors from Southern Ostrobothnia have used in their writing. According to them, we women who have grown up in Southern Ostrobothnia are self-sufficient and hard-working. In company we always take our place with style. Pride in this context does not mean arrogance but knowing who you are and where you come from. Writers say we become old women in whom wisdom dwells.

My place of birth, Mietaankylä in Kurikka, created a strong foundation for my life. Communal spirit was ever-present and my childhood was spent at the athletics ground or by the riverbank. My goal of exercising at least an hour every day originates from that time.

My university of life was the National Union of University Students in Finland and the Students’ Union of the University of Helsinki. The cafes of the Porthania building and the University Main Building were also important places to me.

The atmosphere at the History Department in Heimola was very academic, but also inclusive. Many of the teachers became my friends, and I have often been in touch with them over the decades.

Speech is the main tool in the Parliament. Photo by Hanne Salonen, the Parliament photo archive.

Studying history, political science and journalism at the University was a great combination for a career in journalism. However, as a 30-year-old I had already moved on to become a press officer. My longest lasting positions were as Head of Communications at the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and as Director of information and Communication for the Parliament of Finland.

What is amazing about my work is the big, important issues, meeting interesting people, and the international aspect of it all. I feel that I can do my part in supporting democracy and creating a better Finland as well as a better world.

Once every parliamentary term a diplomatic dinner is organised. Timonen together with assistant director of information Rainer Hindsberg. Photo by Vesa Lindqvist, the Parliament photo archive.


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