Jari Vilen became a prominent figure in European and international politics after serving with distinction in the Finnish Parliament between 1999 and 2007. As minister of foreign trade and European affairs, he was responsible for representing Finland during the EU enlargement negotiations. He chaired the Grand Committee of the Parliament between 2004 and 2007, and was then appointed as Finland’s ambassador first to Hungary (2007), and then to Poland (2012). In 2014 he became EU ambassador to the Council of Europe. He has also served as chair of the European Movement in Finland; the administrative council of the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation; the National Educational Association; and the Conservative Group at the Nordic Council; as well as vice-chair of the National Coalition Party Council. He was appointed chair of the Board of Directors in 2016.