Finland will have a new ambassador to Thailand by September 1.
Sirpa Mäenpää is currently Finland’s Ambassador to Bangkok, with responsibility for Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos but will be transferring to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as from 1 September 2013. She has worked at the diplomatic missions of Finland previously, serving at the Embassy of Finland in Nairobi and as the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim in Managua.
At the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki, Mäenpää has worked in the Department for Development Policy as well as holding various positions in the Department for Africa and the Middle East, most recently as Deputy Director General.
She began working at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1983.
Replacing Mäenpaa is Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Kirsti Westphalen who will be the new Head of the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok, Thailand as from September 1 2013.
Westphalen transfers to Bangkok from Los Angeles, where she has served as the Consul General of Finland since 2008. She has worked at Finnish diplomatic missions abroad in Paris, Beijing and Damascus as well as at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN in New York. She has also worked as the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the Embassy of Finland in Rabat.
At the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Westphalen has held positions in the Department for External Economic Relations, the Department for Communication and Culture, the Protocol Department, the Department for Development Cooperation, the Political Department and the Department for Africa and the Middle East. During her career she has also been the Ministry’s coordinator for contacts with representatives of the Islamic world and leader of the team for intercultural and inter-religious dialogue.
Westphalen came to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1981.