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

Susanna Lehvävirta
University of Helsinki/Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science HELSUS

Professor, Vice Dean
Mari Sandell
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

Professor, Vice Dean
Timo Kaartinen
University of Helsinki /Faculty of Social Sciences

Eeva Uusitalo
University of Helsinki / Ruralia Institute, Mikkeli

University Researcher
Aapo Jumppanen
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

Director of Development
Erkki Välimäki
City of Seinäjoki

Jaakko Mäkelä
University of Helsinki  / Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry


Niklas Jensen-Eriksen
University of Helsinki/ Faculty of Arts

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

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

Dean Johanna Mäkelä
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Educational Sciences

Hanna-Maija Väisänen
University of Helsinki / Ruralia Institute, Mikkeli

Doctoral Researcher
Hannele Suvanto
University of Helsinki / Ruralia Institute, Seinäjoki

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

Business Manager
Tuomas Kähö
Forest Centre

Director of Administration
Ari Liikanen
City of Mikkeli

Head of Education and Wellfare
Antti Takala
City of Seinäjoki

Kari-Pekka Pietiläinen
University of Helsinki / Faculty of Social Sciences