Linguist Ulla Tuomarla appointed Acting Director of Kone Foundation

Docent Ulla Tuomarla, PhD, has been appointed Director of Kone Foundation while Director Anna Talasniemi is on study leave. Tuomarla will begin work as the Foundation’s Acting Director on December 1. The temporary post will last until summer 2022. Talasniemi’s study leave begins in January, 2021.

Ulla Tuomarla is a linguist and lecturer in French at the University of Helsinki. Since 2018, she has been Vice-Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts, responsible for the Faculty’s teaching. Her academic studies have particularly focused on use of language in the media, but also on stylistic features in literature. This year, she has published a joint article about hate speech on the Suomi24 discussion board and a book, Markiisitar de Sévignén kirjeet 1648–1696 (The letters of the Marquise de Sévigné 1648–1696, Teos Publishing), which she co-edited with the historian Riikka-Maria Rosenberg. Tuomarla has had a long career at the University of Helsinki, starting as a post-graduate student in 1995. Her first independent management post was in 2014 as Director of the Department of Modern Languages.

“I am very happy that we are being joined by someone of the calibre of Ulla Tuomarla, who has strong links with the academic world and long-term experience of running an expert organization. Tuomarla’s multi-faceted career, both as a researcher and in university administration, make her exactly the right person to lead the implementation of our new strategy together with the rest of the Board of Directors,” says Kone Foundation Board Chair Hanna Nurminen.

“I am honoured and grateful for this opportunity to take a look inside the world of the foundations. As a former Foundation grantee, I have long admired Kone Foundation’s work, and I am very keen to try to make a positive change to the world as a staff member of the Foundation. I see our values as being perfectly aligned,” Ulla Tuomarla says.

Kone Foundation is an independent, non-aligned organization that seeks to make the world a better place by providing a platform for bold initiatives in science and the arts. In 2019, the Foundation awarded grants, prizes and donations totalling more than 30 million euros.