International Baccalaureate appoints Olli-Pekka Heinonen as eighth Director General

It is with great pleasure that the International Baccalaureate (IB) Board of Governors announces the appointment of Mr Olli-Pekka Heinonen as the next Director General of the IB. Mr Heinonen will commence his appointment on 1 May 2021.

Mr Heinonen most recently served as the Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education. The core tasks of the Agency are to develop education and training, early childhood education and lifelong learning. It prepares the national core curricula for general education and early childhood education, and the requirements for vocational and competence-based qualifications. The Agency also takes part in preparing education policy decisions and supports the development and promotion of internationalisation within the Finnish education system.

Prior to leading the National Agency for Education, Mr Heinonen held various positions in the Finnish Government, including State Secretary and Minister of Education and Science, as well as senior commercial roles in the Finnish National Broadcasting Company.

Widely recognised globally in education, Mr Heinonen brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of educational systems development and innovation to the IB. He is engaged actively with the OECD and other international organisations in contributing views on the future of education, including the sharing of best practice, personalised and lifelong learning, the impact of technology and the development of educators. He is a regular speaker in global educational forums.

His vision for global education is strongly aligned with the vision and values of the IB. He brings broad leadership and team-building experience and a focus on developing organizations to operate effectively in a changing environment.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr Helen Drennen, the Chair of the IB Board of Governors said:

“The IB Board of Governors is delighted and privileged to welcome Mr Olli-Pekka Heinonen as the new Director General at a time of great change across the world. He will bring a leading, influential voice to shaping the future of international education and to the next era of the IB.“

“I am honored to join the IB community to further develop the mission of creating a better world through education. It is clear that we are suffering from a global learning and teaching crisis, and COVID-19 has magnified these challenges. I am looking forward to working together with schools and educators to develop solutions to address these challenges and find ways to develop a strong future for our students,”

Mr Heinonen commented.