Ex-Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin to join Tony Blair Institute

Former Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced Thursday that she will join the Tony Blair Institute. File Photo by Kimmo Brandt/EPA-EFE

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Former Finnish Prime Minster Sanna Marin announced Thursday that she will be joining the political nonprofit Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

While Marin was a popular leader who is seen as having championed Finland's ascension to NATO, she faced criticism for hosting parties while serving in office from 2019 until this year.

Shortly before leaving office in May, Marin announced that she was getting divorced from her long-term partner, businessman and former soccer player Markus Raikkonen.

"The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is very pleased to announce that Sanna Marin, former Finnish prime minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party, is joining as a strategic counselor. She will be working with colleagues and teams across TBI's portfolio of countries, advising political leaders on their reform programs," the Institute said in a statement Thursday.

The institute praised Marin's environmental efforts as well as her work to bring Finland into NATO.

"Ms. Marin has a record of accomplishment, from setting one of the world's most ambitious climate targets -- enabled by a full program of digitalization and deployment of technology -- to shepherding her country's accession to NATO following Russia's aggression in Ukraine (the swiftest accession in the alliances history)," the organization said.

"This is a great honor. I am excited to step into this new role. I believe that this will also benefit the whole of Finland," Marin said.

Tony Blair welcomed Marin as a new addition to the Institute.

"Our mission is to help political leaders worldwide deliver change for their people -- and Sanna Marin knows exactly how to do that. Ms. Marin is bold and practical, understands the role that technology can play as the enabler of a more efficient and citizen-centered state, and will lend her experience to our mission in more countries throughout the world," said Blair.

Marin has requested to resign from Finland's legislature in order to take on her role with the institute but emphasized that she is "a politician and a person of ideas, that doesn't change."