Esko Aho

Esko Aho

Senior Fellow, Harvard University; Consultative Partner, Nokia Corporation; Former Prime Minister of Finland (Helsinki, Finland)

April 22, 2013

Esko Aho is Senior Fellow at Harvard University. From 2009 to 2012, he was the Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and Responsibility at Nokia Corporation. In this position, he headed Nokia’s government and public affairs function, and oversaw the company’s global policies and activities regarding sustainable development and social responsibility.

Before joining Nokia in 2008, Mr. Aho enjoyed a long and distinguished career in government service. He served as a member of Finnish parliament for 20 years, from 1983. He was elected to the Prime Minister’s Office in 1991 at the age of 36, making him the youngest prime minister in Finland’s history. During his premiership, Mr. Aho chaired the Science and Technology Policy Council of Finland. Under his leadership, he also brought Finland into the European Union. After leaving office in 1995, Mr. Aho spent one year as a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University in 2000, leading a weekly study group on the European Union and its political and economic implications for global relations. He then served as the president of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, from 2004-2008. During that time, Mr. Aho was invited to head a group of experts on reinforcing EU research and innovation performance, which submitted its report to the European Commission in January 2006. Furthermore, he chaired the steering group, which submitted the Proposal for Finland’s National Innovation Strategy in 2008.

Currently, Mr. Aho is a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Council and the Vice Chair of ICC Finland, a board member of the Technology Academy Finland, and a board member of Fortum Corporation. From 2007-2010, he was a member of the Board of Directors at the Russian Venture Company. Mr. Aho is also an invited member of the Club de Madrid, an independent organization of former heads of state and government dedicated to strengthening democracy.

Mr. Aho graduated from the University of Helsinki with a master’s in social science.

Role: Panel Chair
Report: Innovation Impacts: Measurement and Assessment (April 2013)