Nina Suomalainen was born in 1966 in the municipality of Valkeala in South-Eastern Finland. Her permanent home is in Helsinki, Finland. She has a degree of Master of Policitical Science (M.Pol.Sc.) in the Åbo Akademi University in Turku in 1993, with major in International Law and minor in Economics.
Suomalainen has extensive international work experience from several tasks in the EU, the UN and OSCE. Since September 2015 she has served as Head of Mission at the OSCE Mission to Skopje. In 2012-2015 she was Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, based in Sarajevo. Her tasks have also included working at the UN Development Programme (UNDP) office in Latvia 1995-1997, as an Advisor to the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities 2007-2008, in the OSCE Field Operations Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina 1998-1999 and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw 2000-2002. In 2005-2010 she held a position at the Finn Church Aid, the largest development and humanitarian NGO in Finland, working on development policy and advocacy. In mid 90’s she worked in Brussels in the European Commission and European Parliament.
Overall, Nina Suomalainen has 24 years of experience in managing capacity and institutional development, human rights protection and promotion and other related crisis management activities. The countries she has been involved in include Bosnia and Herzegovina, other countries in South Eastern Europe and the OSCE region, Rwanda, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Nina Suomalainen has been active in her native country Finland in national and municipal politics as an elected Helsinki City Councillor in 2008-2012, in leadership positions at the National Coalition Party and as candidate in the parliamentary and European parliament elections. In her leisure time Suomalainen is an active amateur musician, playing saxophones, flute and singing. In 2012 she completed a professional degree in music technology and studio recording. She loves gardening and outdoor activities, taking time for walks with her dogs and skiing in winter.