Johnny Ákerholm, a senior Finnish policy maker has been appointed secretary general of the EBRD. Ákerholm is currently under-secretary of state for economic affairs in the Finnish ministry of finance. From 1971 until 1995, he served in many roles at the bank of Finland. During that period, he spent three years on assignment to the secretariat of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

Apart from his eminent record of public service in Finland, Ákerholm has been singled out for prominent international roles, such as current chairman of the Economic and Financial Committee of the European Community, and president, in 2000-01, of the Nordic Baltic Monetary and Financial Committee as well as earlier membership on committees such as the EU Economic Policy Committee.

The secretary general serves as a member of the executive committee, working with the president on the relationship with the board of governors and the EBRD’s resident board of directors. He oversees the adoption and implementation of institutional decisions as well as ensuring respect for the EBRD’s policies for public information and transparency. The secretary general promotes strong relationships with other organisations and organises the annual meeting of the bank, as well as participating in the bank’s policy dialogue with the countries of operations, and in the communication strategy.

Ákerholm was selected after an extensive international search conducted with the support of an executive search firm. Ákerholm stood out because of his expertise in economic issues in an international, as well as national, context, for his strong commitment to the EBRD region and the bank itself and for his experience of multilateral activities.

Ákerholm, who is 54, expects to join the EBRD in May. He replaces Antonio Maria Costa, who now heads the United Nations Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention.