The Advisory Board supports and challenges the Director General in VATT’s strategic development

From left to right: Laura Hartman, Risto Murto, Marjo Bruun, Otto Toivanen, Panu Poutvaara ja Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo.

From left to right: Laura Hartman (replaced in the Advisory Board by Ritva Reinikka), Risto Murto, Marjo Bruun, Otto Toivanen, Panu Poutvaara, Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo.

VATT Advisory Board 2019-2021:

Professor Otto Toivanen, Aalto University (Chairman of the Advisory Board)
Director General Marjo Bruun, Statistics Finland
Senior Financial Adviser Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo, Ministry of Finance
CEO Risto Murto, Varma
Professor Panu Poutvaara, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Leiter des ifoZentrums für Internationalen Institutionenvergleich und Migrationsforschung
Professor of Practice Ritva Reinikka, Aalto University and HGSE
Director General Sami Yläoutinen, Ministry of Finance

Director General Mikael Collan and VATT’s personnel representative, Researcher Ilpo kauppinen also sit on the Advisory Board.

Otto Toivanen is professor of economics at the Belgian Catholic University of Leuven and at Aalto University in Helsinki. He was previously professor and director at HECER and director of the Finnish Doctoral Programme in Economics (FDPE). He has also been a visiting researcher at MIT and the University of California, Berkeley. He gained his PhD in economics from the University of Warwick in 1995. Toivanen’s research focuses on the economics of innovations and competition. His research topics have included the granting of research and development subsidies to firms and the impact of these, the role of education in becoming an inventor, the income implications of inventing and firms’ sector entry decisions.

Marjo Bruun has been Director General of Statistics Finland since 2012. By education she is an agronomist. Before coming to Statistics Finland, Bruun was Director General of the Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Tike) from 2007. Prior to that, she headed Tike’s statistics group and worked as an expert and consultant in the private sector. Bruun is a member of the board of the Conference of European Statisticians, which operates under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. She has also been actively involved in international statistical modernization projects. During her period as Director General, Statistics Finland has significantly enhanced its services offered to researchers.

Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo has been head of the Structural Policy Unit of the Ministry of Finance since 2007. Her previous workplaces included the Finnish Centre for Pensions, the Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging, Uppsala University, VATT, the World Bank and the University of Chile. The unit headed by Hakola-Uusitalo is tasked with providing research data for economic policy decision-making and communicating to the research community what information is required to make decisions. Hakola-Uusitalo is a member of the Government working group for the coordination of research, foresight and assessment activities (TEAWorking Group). Hakola-Uusitalo promotes European co-operation in her role as chairman of the EU’s Economic Policy Committee Eurogroup.

Risto Murto is CEO of Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company. Prior to that he was CEO and Research Director of Opstock Ltd and Research Manager of Erik Selin Oy. He has also been an economist at the Bank of Finland and a researcher at Etla. He gained his PhD in economics from the Helsinki School of Economics in 1997. He has extensive experience and thorough knowledge of the international economy and of asset management. Risto Murto sits on several boards, including Wärtsilä Corporation, Sampo plc and the University of Oulu.

Panu Poutvaara has been Professor of Economics at the University of Munich and Research Director of the Ifo Institute since 2010. Prior to that he was Professor of Public Finances at the University of Helsinki (fiver-year term 2006-2010) and a visiting researcher at Harvard. Poutvaara is a member of the CESifo, IZA and CReAM (University College London) research networks. Poutvaara’s research themes are public finances, political economics and international migration. He has researched subjects including the impact of labour mobility on public and private incentives to invest in education, how voters react to electoral promises and actual policies, and selection of emigrants.

Ritva Reinikka is the Professor of Practice in development economics at the Aalto University School of Business and the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics. Reinikka has a doctorate in economics, and she is one the leading researchers and experts in development politics in Finland. Her career has advanced from conducting academic research for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to serving as an expert for the World Bank. At the World Bank, where she worked for 20 years, Reinikka served as a director of research and country director in South Africa, and was responsible for the World Bank’s human development work programme in education, health and social protection in the Africa region, to name but a few. Recently, Reinikka has been involved in conducting an independent assessment on the impact and effectiveness of Finland’s development cooperation (2015) and in studying Finland’s global role in education (2018).

Sami Yläoutinen has worked as head of the Budget Department at the Ministry of Finance since 2019. Before becoming Director General of the Budget Department, Mr Yläoutinen worked as coordinator of economic policy at the Ministry of Finance, a position he held from 2015. Mr Yläoutinen has worked for the Ministry of Finance in various positions since 1999, for example, as head of the Financial Stability Unit under the Economics Department in 2007–2011. In 2011–2014, Mr Yläoutinen was an adviser for the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. He gained his PhD in economics from the University of Jyväskylä in 2005. On 1 September 2019, Director General of the Budget Department Sami Yläoutinen was appointed as member of the Advisory Board of the VATT Institute for Economic Research to serve in place of Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo during her leave for the current term of the advisory board.