Sauli Niinistö was the 12th President of the Republic of Finland. He was inaugurated on 1 March 2012 and was re-elected for another six-year term in January 2018. His second term in office began on 1 February 2018.

Sauli Niinistö was born in Salo on 24 August 1948. He graduated from the University of Turku with a Master of Laws degree in 1974, after which he worked as a Rural Police Chief and, for more than ten years, as an Assistant Judge at the Turku Court of Appeal. He also practiced law as an attorney and gained experience of corporate administration. His political career began in 1977, when he was elected to the Town Council of Salo. He continued to hold elected positions in local government until the 1990s.

Sauli Niinistö was first elected to Parliament in 1987. During his time as a Member of  Parliament, he served as Chairman of the Constitutional Law Committee. In 1995, he was appointed Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister. In 1996, he moved to the Ministry of Finance and became Finland’s longest-serving Minister of Finance. At the beginning of his term, the effects of the recession in the 1990s were at their worst and unemployment was at a record high. Those difficulties were overcome and Finland entered the new millennium on a strong footing.

Sauli Niinistö was Chairman of the National Coalition Party from 1994 to 2001. In addition to domestic politics, he was Chairman of the European Democrat Union (EDU), with a membership of center-right parties from almost all European countries, from 1998 to 2002. He was instrumental in merging the EDU with the European People’s Party (EPP), of which he was appointed second Honorary President.

In 2003, Sauli Niinistö took up the post of Vice President of the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg. He was responsible for R&D funding and funding activities in the Nordic countries and Russia, and chaired the Northern Dimension Partnership Programme. He has also been a Member and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a Member of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC).

Sauli Niinistö returned to the Finnish Parliament in the 2007 elections with the highest number of votes ever gained by a candidate. He was Speaker of Parliament from 2007 to 2011.

President Niinistö married Jenni Haukio in 2009 and they had a son, Aaro, in 2018. President Niinistö also has two adult sons from his previous marriage.

President Niinistö is active in sports and he was Chairman of the Football Association of Finland from 2009 to 2012 and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2009 European Figure Skating Championships. He has written two books.