Meet our new Policy Director
It is ENGSO’s great pleasure to introduce our new Policy Director, Kaisa Larjomaa. Kaisa – a Finnish national living in Brussels – took up the position earlier this month, after our former Policy Director, Heidi Pekkola left the organisation in April.
Kaisa is a versatile communications professional with a background in NGOs, advocacy and sports policy. She has worked in journalism and communication roles in several organisations, including the International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) as Communications Manager. In her Master’s studies, she specialised in political communication. Kaisa had previously made her way into the world of politics and sports policy through the student movement and university sports, serving as e.g. President of the Finnish Student Sports Federation and as member of the Student Commission in the European University Sports Association (EUSA). Her work and studies have taken her around Europe and back, having lived in seven countries: Finland, France, Turkey, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway.
As for Brussels and her new working environment, Kaisa is already quite familiar with them. In 2013 she conducted a traineeship at the European Olympic Committees’ EU Office, where the post of ENGSO Policy Director is also based. Prior to taking up her new position, Kaisa was further acquainting herself with the European Union via the much sought-after traineeship programme of the European Commission.
Kaisa’s sporting background is in synchronised skating, where she competed on a national championship level in 1997–2003. Since then, her various sporting activities have included e.g. running, swimming, dancing, boxing, gym and yoga. In 2016–2017 she competed again in sychronised skating on a Masters level.
When asked about her new role, Kaisa shared her excitement with us:
„Me and my childhood family have been involved in sports clubs for the most of my life – doing sports, volunteering, administration and coaching. I know the impact that grassroots sport has on individuals and communities: learning new skills inside and outside the rink, giving one the opportunity to grow into different roles and responsibilities, and taking action for the benefit of the community. I am most delighted to be able to join ENGSO to defend these vital aspects of sport, and follow in the footsteps of frontrunners such as ENGSO Honorary President Birgitta Kervinen, whom I have had the pleasure of working with in the context of the IWG and whose work I admire to a great extent. As a politics nerd, I am excited to be entering the playing field at a time when so much is happening – not least the EU long-term budget negotiations and the upcoming European Elections in 2019 – to ensure and further improve the position of grassroots sport in Europe.”
At ENGSO, we wish Kaisa all the best for her new role with us!