Liisa Laakso is an expert on world politics and international development cooperation. Her research interests include democratisation of Africa, international development policies and crisis management policies of the European Union, in particular, and the role of diaspora in African developments.
Liisa Laakso has merits as an academic leader, acting in different national and international positions of trust and societal impact. She is currently a member of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, Social and Cultural Innovation Strategy Working Group. She has also been a member of the Finnish Government Research and Innovation Council.
In 2016–2018, Liisa served as the Rector of the University of Tampere (UTA), one of the largest and most popular universities in Finland, and prepared its fusion with Tampere University of Technology, and before that as the Dean at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Science.
She was nominated to professorship at the University of Jyväskylä in 2004, in the field of Development and International Cooperation. She has also worked as Professor of World Politics at the University of Helsinki.