Antti Pentikainen joined USIP after establishing the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers with the U.N. (2015-2019). Alongside advising USIP, he is shaping the Mary Hoch Center as its founding executive director and serves as the reconciliation and research professor at George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR). Prior to this, he served as the special envoy for Finland’s prime minister on the Refugee Crisis (2015-2019) as well as advisor for the U.N. assistant secretary-general on prevention of genocide (2017).
For over a decade, Pentikainen he led the efforts of the Finn Church Aid (2004-2015) as its executive director, and assumed several leadership positions including special advisor for President Ahtisaari, director at Crisis Management Initiative (2000-2004) and Religions for Peace (2010-2011). He brings peace processes and reconciliation experience in places like Somalia, South Sudan and Libya, and he will focus on understanding the roles of Insider Reconcilers, connecting better community-level efforts with state level political processes and developing support mechanisms for these efforts.
Pentikainen holds a master's in theology from Helsinki University and is an author within Inclusive Peacebuilding: Recognised but not Realised.