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Satu Santala appointed as NDF’s new Managing Director


The NDF Board has appointed a new Managing Director to lead the organisation for the next years.

The NDF Board of Directors has appointed Ms Satu Santala (Finland) as the new Managing Director of the organisation. Ms Santala will succeed Ms Karin Isaksson (Sweden), who has served as the NDF Managing Director since 2019.

Ms Santala joins NDF from IFAD, where she held the position of Associate Vice-President of the External Relations and Governance Department. She has extensive experience in international relations and development, as she has held various positions in the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs since 1994, most recently, prior to her joining IFAD, as Director General for Development Policy. She has also been Executive Director at the World Bank, where she represented Nordic and Baltic countries. She brings relevant experience to NDF having represented Finland in replenishment negotiations and governing bodies for MDBs and the Green Climate Fund.

“Satu Santala brings to the organisation highly relevant expertise and hands-on international experience that will enable NDF to grow in its role as the Nordic climate and development finance specialist. NDF has a well-developed position in the climate finance landscape with a value proposition that matches global needs. As a highly skilled Nordic leader, and through her strong vision, Satu will be in an excellent position to build on this foundation. We look very much forward to working with her in the upcoming years,” says Anne Sofie Bjelland, of the NDF Board of Directors.

Satu Santala holds a Master of Political Science, International Public Law & Development studies from Åbo Akademi in Finland.

Ms Santala will be taking up her new role in March 2024. "I'm inspired to step into my new role as NDF's Managing Director. Today, climate action is more critical than ever —and climate finance is essential for sustainable solutions. The Nordics have been trailblazing the way towards global climate goals, and NDF has a unique role as the Nordic climate and development fund. I'm looking forward to working with NDF member states, staff and partners to maximise the Fund’s catalytic impact in climate adaptation and mitigation in the countries that need it the most," she says.