Director 2013-2019

Iina Soiri was director of NAI between 1 March, 2013 and 30 June, 2019. Prior to her appointment, she worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland as a senior advisor on development policy and served in the Embassy of Finland in Dar es Salaam as senior expert on governance 2006-2010.

Iina has spent 20 years on the African continent as an activist, diplomat, consultant and researcher working for both civil society organizations and public sector. She has a special experience working with women in post conflict countries like Angola, Mozambique and Namibia and a special interest for local governance and democracy.

She does have a history with NAI - in 1994, she received a study grant and in 1997 a travel grant. She also was a research fellow at NAI during July 1995 - December 1996.

Academic background

Iina Soiri has a Master of Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her main subject was political science/international politics and other subjects were communication, international law, philosophy and development studies. She has also served in University of Lapland and University of Helsinki as lecturer and researcher fellow. Iina has published two monographs, few articles in academic books and various policy documents.

Professional background

She has held numerous long-term positions in in Finland and various African countries; Namibia, Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania. Some of those positions are among others;   election and civic education advisor in UNDP/Mozambique; training advisor for local governments for Helsinki Consulting Group in Namibia; Counsellor at the Embassy of Finland in Dar Es Salaam,Tanzania; senior advisor local governance for SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in Angola, Consultant for Efano Ltd Company in various countries etc.

She has also been engaged in various research projects and assignments on African political economy as well as on development policy and co-operation. Soiri has a background in the civil society activities supporting anti-apartheid and liberation movements and democratic development in Africa. Iina has also engaged herself in several short-term assignments such as evaluations and appraisals and has been a regular debater and columnist in various development publications in Finland and Namibia. She speaks fluent Finnish, English, Swedish and Portuguese.

Special assignments

Shareholder Efano Consulting Company and board member Uongozi Institute.

Subject areas

Development policy and finance, good governance and local government, elections, community development, development evaluations and appraisals, Southern African liberation and anti-apartheid movement.



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