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Elli Aaltonen

työelämäprofessori, professor of practice, PhD in social sciences, docent
Tampereen yliopisto
Sähköpostiosoiteelli.aaltonen [at] tuni.fi
puhelinnumero050 435 0374

Oma esittely

I am working as Professor of Practice which position gives possibility to bring my experience from the public sector and NGOs to the academic community. My main interests are research in social sustainability, social work as a profession and in strategical welfare management. I am also President of Finnish Red Cross with which having connections to national and international non-governmental work and welfare.

My working history contains managerial roles in Kela (director general), the National Insurance Institute, regional state administartive (director general, social- and health counsellor, manager), municipalities (social- and health manager) and also positions in national and global NGO-boards and retail and banking boards. I have ha EU advisory positions in e.g. Ukraine and Russia.


Professor of practice in social policy, University of Tampere, 1/2020-. Reaserch companionship in SOC, teaching in social policy, managent in social- and health welfare, conncetions to public and non-governmental nets. 

Earlier work tasks:

International: Degree in EU expertise 1995, EU advisory positions in e.g. Ukraine and Russia, during the years 1999-2005

National: Director General - Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, 11/2016-12/2019. Advisory positions at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Au.thority for Medicolegal Affairs, and the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (Stakes), during the years 1990-2010

Regional: Director General - the Regional State Administrative Agency for Eastern Finland, 1/2010-11/2016 .Director of department - the Social Welfare and Health Affairs at the Provincial State Office for Eastern Finland, 1/2005-12/2009.Counsellor of Social Welfare and Health Affairs - the Provincial State Office for Northern Karelia Region, 1/1997-12/2004

Municipal: Director of social welfare and health care for the municipalities, in Savonlinna town, 1979-1984 and in Nurmes town,1/1985-12/1996. Director of Kotikallio – Joint municipality authority of elderly people’s home, 1976-1979

NGOs: President of Red Cross in Finland. Alongside work, several positions as president in the field of child welfare, geriatrics, and disability, which most distinguished ones listed in the following positions or in the positions of trust: Vice-chair in the Finnish Committee “Save the Children”, 2000´s, Member in the Finnish board “Central Union for Children’s Welfare, 1990´s, Chair in the Finnish board “Social workers union”, nowadays Talentia, 1980’s.

Osaamisalueiden kuvaus

Issues: social policy and social work (knowledge and expertise), social security and reform of social security, income support and basic income, social and health care integration

Knowledge: knowledge of strategical work, management and leadership skills, knowledge of public organisations and policies, understanding of EU-policies.

Tärkeimmät saavutukset

above showed by the working history


Now: President of the Finnish Red Cross 2020-, Chair in the Advisory Board of Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)2020-

Before 2020:

Neste Shareholders' Nomination Board 2017-2019, Kela's Audit Committee 2008-2016, Kela's Board 2008-2016

University of Eastern Finland Board and Advisory Board 2009-2017, Retail and Banking Boards (PKO and OP) 1988-2005,

Coordination Group for Regionalisation 2015-2016, Committee for reforming regional government AUNE 2010-2016, 

HAUS Finnish Institute of Public Management Advisory Board 2010-2015, Member of the National Research Academy 2016,

Rural Policy Committee MANE 2010-2016, National Group for County Government Reform 2010-2016, 

President of the Finnish ICSW National Committee and European Committee 2009-2016, 

Chair of the Finnish Advisory Board for Veterans 2015-2016, The Finnish Association for the Welfare of Older People, President of the Board 2013-2016

Finnish President of ISSA Global Committee 2016-2019 


Sustainability in welfare, especially social sustainability

Good management and leadership

Multiprofessional work in social- and health care

Non governmental organisations and citizenship


SWS, social welfare systems and social sustainablity, research program of Tampere university

Home and sustainable welfare, research project of Tampere university

Social and health integration, research project of Huoltaja-säätiö

Management in social and health welfare, docentship issue at Uef (university of Eastern Finland)


social policy

Merkittävimmät julkaisut

Publications, (selected) : Book: "The Client in Social Welfare and Employment" (in Finnish), 1985, Publication of Joensuu University

Book: "Management for Results in Social Welfare" (in Finnish), 1991, Publication of Joensuu University

Book: "Basis of Social Welfare" (in Finnish), 1994, WSOY

Report:"PD-Training Programme for Directors of Social Welfare and Health Services" (in Finnish), 1995, Ministry of Social and Health

Report: "Organisational Study of Management within Municipal Social Administration" (in Finnish), 1997, Ministry of Social and Health Affairs

Article: "Changes in the Roles of Management within Social Administration" (in Finnish),1997, JANUS

Article: "Socialdirektörernas uppfattningar om sina anställda från 1950 -talet till 1990 -talet", 1998, Nordisk Social Arbeid

Article: "Client-orientated Quality Assessmen"t (in English), 1999, International Journal of Social Welfare

Book: "Management of social services -bureacracy or management for results (in Finnish), 1999, Publication of Joensuu University 

Report: "Action Plan for Finnish-Russian Neighbouring Area Co-operation in social protection and health", (in Finnish), 2003, Ministry of International Affairs

Report: "Neighbouring Area Co-operatio"n (in English), 2002, Ministry of International Affairs

Reports: "Informal care in Finland" (in Finnish), 2003 and 2013, Ministry of Social and Health Affairs

Epilogue in the book "From the ditches to the source. Income support reform" (in Finnish), Kela (eds. Tuija Korpela & others.) 2020

Article: "Stages in social- and health integration development", pages 37-51, in the book "Social sector reform (in Finnish), Huoltaja Foundation (eds. Lea Suoninen & others). 2020