The Institute’s management group consists of the director, vice-director and head of administration. The director heads the unit in Seinäjoki and the vice-director the unit in Mikkeli. 

The Institute has a board with twelve members, each of whom has a deputy. The board’s term is four years.

Both of the Institute’s units have an advisory board, whose members are appointed from the key interest groups in Mikkeli and Seinäjoki. The advisory boards monitor the units’ operations, participate in the evaluation of operations and propose development measures.

Members (1.4.2018-31.3.2022)

Ritva Toivonen (The chair of the board)
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

Sami Moisio 
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Science

Anne Toppinen
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

Associate Professor
Sirkku Juhola
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Kari Vesala (vice chairman)
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Social Sciences

Senior Researcher
Toni Ryynänen
University of Helsinki / Ruralia Institute, Mikkeli

Doctoral Student
Katja Rinne-Koski
University of Helsinki / Ruralia Institute, Seinäjoki

Planning Director
Antti Saartenoja
Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia

Ministerial Adviser 
Sanna Sihvola 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry / Rural Development

Timo Halonen 
City of Mikkeli

Erkki Välimäki
City of Seinäjoki

Jaakko Mäkelä
University of Helsinki  / Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry


Professor Niklas Jensen-Eriksen
University of Helsinki/ Faculty of Arts

Professor Maria Fredriksson-Ahomaa
University of Helsinki/ Faculty of veterinary medicine

Professor Mikko Tolonen
University of Helsinki / Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities HELDIG

Professor Johanna Mäkelä
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Educational Sciences

Project Manager
Päivi Pylkkänen
University of Helsinki / Ruralia Institute, Mikkeli

University researcher
Aapo Jumppanen
University of Helsinki / Ruralia Institute, Seinäjoki

Jarkko Huovinen
Association of Finnish Municipalities/
Finnish Local and Regional Authorities Division Vitality and Economy

Regional Director
Antti Heikkilä 
Forest Centre

Director of Administration
Ari Liikanen
City of Mikkeli

Head of Education and Wellfare
Heikki Vierula
City of Seinäjoki

BA, Student Essi Turunen
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Social Sciences

Advisory board, Mikkeli

Regional Director
Antti Heikkilä
Forest Centre

Strategy and Development Manager
Aki Kauranen
City of Mikkeli

Head of Development
Anne Kokkonen (Substitube Heli Gynther)
Regional Council of South Savo

Entrepreuner in Tourism
Inna Kopoteva
Vehmäskylä village

Teppo Korhonen

Executive manager
Soile Kuitunen
The Rehabilitation Foundation

Executive director
Teppo Leinonen
South Savo Chamber of commerce

Entrepreuner in Tourism
Seija Pohjanoksa

Special Planner
Anni Panula-Ontto-Suuronen (vice-chair)
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment / South Savo

Hannu Ranki (chair)
Mikkelin seudun vapaa-ajan asukkaat

Development Director
Petteri Portaankorva
City of Kouvola

Principal Scientist
Pasi Rikkonen
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Mervi Simoska
Municipality of Juva

Markus Tykkyläinen (Subsitude Milla Ratia)

Advisory board, Seinäjoki

Karri Kunnas
Foodwest Oy

Executive Director
Pertti Kinnunen
South Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce

Executive Director
Yrjö Ojaniemi
The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK)/
South Ostrobothnia

Executive Manager
Mervi Niemi-Huhdanpää
Leader Aisapari ry

Henri Honkala
ProAgria/ South Ostrobothnia

Head of Group
Ritva Rintapukka

HDR manager
Kaija Ketola-Annala (The chair of the board)
Atria Finland

Executive Director
Olli-Pekka Viinamäki

Head of Economic Development
Yrjö Ylkänen
Finnish forest centre/ South Ostrobothnia

Elina Varamäki
Seinäjoki University Applied Sciences

Hannemari Niemi
Into Seinäjoki Oy