Innovator in Education, Olli-Pekka Heinonen takes over as Director General of the IB


Geneva, Switzerland:  Mr Olli-Pekka Heinonen has today joined the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) as its new Director General. He succeeds Dr Siva Kumari, as the eighth Director General of the IB.

A well-known name among international educators, Mr Heinonen brings broad experience of leading complex organizations effectively in a rapidly changing world. He is a regular speaker in global educational forums and is actively engaged with the OECD on topics related to the future of education, personalized and lifelong learning, the impact of technology and the development of educators.

“I am honored to join the IB community to further develop the mission of creating a better world through education. It is clear that we are suffering from a global learning and teaching crisis, and COVID-19 has magnified these challenges. I am looking forward to working together with schools and educators to develop solutions to address these challenges and find ways to develop a strong future for our students,” Mr Heinonen commented.

Prior to joining the IB, Mr Heinonen served as the Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education, whose core tasks included developing education and training, early childhood education and lifelong learning, and promoting internationalization within the Finnish education system. The Agency develops the national core curricula for general education, early childhood education and vocational and competence-based qualifications.

Mr Heinonen has also held various positions in the Finnish Government, including State Secretary, Minister of Education and Culture, Minister of Transport and Communications, as well as Director in the Finnish National Broadcasting Company.

About the IB:

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) pioneered a movement of international education and now offers four high quality, challenging educational programmes to students aged 3-19. The IB gives students distinct advantages by providing strong foundations, critical thinking skills, and a proficiency for solving complex problems, while encouraging diversity, curiosity, and a healthy appetite for learning and excellence. In a world where asking the right questions is as important as discovering answers, the IB champions critical thinking and flexibility in study by crossing disciplinary, cultural and national boundaries. Supported by world class educators and coordinators, the IB currently engages with more than 1.95 million students in over 5,300 schools across 158 countries.