After an extensive career in Finnish national politics Mr. Jan Vapaavuori became the first Mayor of Helsinki in June 2017 after winning the election with a record number of support. As his first task he set forth a city strategy, laying ground for an ambitious four-year agenda. The strategy champions Helsinki as the “most functional city in the world” with a special focus on sustainable growth, digitalization, global problem solving, creativity and the best possible conditions for happy everyday city life. The strategy also defined Helsinki as a test-bed for start-ups and smart city development projects resulting in an increased global relevance for the city.
From 2012 to 2015 Mr. Vapaavuori served as the Minister of Economic Affairs in the Finnish National Government, responsible for international trade and innovation. In 2007 – 2011 he was the Minister of Housing. Since 2015 he worked as Vice President of the European Investment Bank. As Minister of Economic Affairs, he negotiated the Meyer Turku shipyard sale that played a key role in renewing the Finnish maritime industry. As the Minister of Housing Mr. Vapaavuori created a program that resulted in a decrease of long-term homelessness by fifty percent - a model that has since gained international recognition.
From 2003 to 2015 Mr. Vapaavuori was a Member of Parliament. During his term as MP, he served among other things as chair of the party's parliamentary group. In addition to his career in national politics, Mr. Vapaavuori has a long-standing career with the City of Helsinki as Member of the Helsinki City Council and as the chairman of the City Board.
Mr. Vapaavuori serves at the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council, as Chair of The Finnish National Opera’s Board of Governors and chairs his family foundation that supports contemporary dance and visual arts. He graduated as Master of Law from the University of Helsinki and holds an Honorary Doctoral Degree form Hanken School of Economics.