Martti Ahtisaari is a Finnish politician and United Nations diplomat who also served as the 10th president of Finland. He received the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his international conflict resolution work spanning three decades, in Indonesia, Iraq, Kosovo, and Namibia.
During the course of his diplomatic career, Ahtisaari served as Finland’s ambassador to Tanzania, UN deputy secretary-general, and UN commissioner for Namibia. In the latter role, he helped secure the country’s independence from the Republic of South Africa. Following his career with the UN, he was elected president of the Republic of Finland.
After serving as president of Finland, Ahtisaari returned to international peace mediation and conflict resolution, founding the Crisis Management Initiative, designed to promote peace in troubled areas. Through this organization, he led negotiations between the Free Aceh Movement and the Indonesian government. In 2005, he was appointed as a UN special envoy to Kosovo, where he facilitated negotiations related to the country’s independence from Serbia.
In 2010, Ahtisaari received the Great Negotiator Award in recognition of his numerous achievements in negotiation and diplomacy, and his work to advance peace in Indonesia, Kosovo, and Namibia.