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Press release

Press release

Åbo Akademi University elected a new board – Peter Essen and Yacine Samb new external board members

The Åbo Akademi University Collegiate Body has established a new board for the period 2021–2022. The board, which is the university’s highest decision-making body, consists of ten members. Six of them represent the university, and four are external members.

At its meeting the University Collegiate Body elected two new external board members: Peter Essen and Yacine Samb.

Yacine Samb
Yacine Samb

Yacine Samb (b. 1985) holds a BBA degree from Tampere University of Applied Science and an Executive MBA from Aalto University. She acts as Google’s Growth Marketing Manager for Northern Europe, and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Samb, who works with digital transformation, also has experience training and mentoring other leaders, and highlights opportunities of cultural diversity. She has achieved several recognitions for her leadership.

Peter Essen
Peter Essen

Peter Essen (f. 1956) is a chemist who graduated from Åbo Akademi University. He is a long-standing and experienced business leader at the pharmaceutical company Bayer in Turku, where he has been a key player in the success story of the Turku unit. Essen has been actively involved in academic interests. He has long worked to promote the development of molecular life sciences, pharmaceutical research and diagnostics in the Turku region in consultation with companies, the region and universities.

– We are very happy to welcome Essen and Samb. They will contribute new perspectives and experiences that will benefit the strategic development of Åbo Akademi University and our pursuit of increased diversity, participation, equality and sustainability. The backgrounds and experiences from the corporate world that Samb and Essen possess also resonate well with Åbo Akademi University’s strategic research profiles, says the University Collegiate Body’s chairman, Ronald Österbacka.

Marita Hilliges, Professor of Neuroscience and Secretary General of the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions, and Thomas Wilhelmsson, Chancellor Emeritus and Rector Emeritus of the University of Helsinki, where he also served as Professor of Civil and Commercial Law, will continue as external board members.

Åbo Akademi University’s professors are represented on the new board by Malin Brännback, Professor of Business Administration, especially International Business Operations, and by Kim Wikström, Professor of Industrial Management.

The staff representatives in the category of researchers, teachers and other staff are Janne Elo, University Lecturer in Educational Leadership, and Majlen Saarinen Administrative Director at The Centre for Lifelong Learning at Åbo Akademi University.

Student representatives are Patrick Schubert, a student of Public International Law, and Richard Printz, an Economics student.

For more information, contact:
Ronald Österbacka, chairperson of the Åbo Akademi University Collegiate Body, Professor of Physics
tel: +358 50 409 6423
email: ronald.osterbacka@abo.fi

Press photos: Yacine Samb, Peter Essen