Global dignitary Elisabeth Rehn to speak in Phoenix on Sept. 26

Global dignitary, Elisabeth Rehn, a former minister of defense of Finland and undersecretary general of the United Nations will speak at a Phoenix luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Elisabeth Rehn

Minister Rehn received an invitation from former US Ambassador to Finland, Barbara Barrett, who will moderate the luncheon presented by The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute Distinguished Speakers Series and the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations, according to a press release, noting Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence from Russia prompts the visit.

Minister Rehn was appointed minister of defense of Finland in 1990 when she became the world’s first woman to lead a department of defense of any country. Although she is said to have narrowly missed election to the presidency of Finland in 1994, she served as the UN’s undersecretary general from 1995 to 1999, and as the special rapporteur for human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1998 to 1999.

She is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation, chaired by former president of South Africa, FW de Klerk. GLF is a not-for-profit foundation composed primarily of former heads of government who share their leadership experience with current national leaders to support democratic leadership, the release said.

The group strives to prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law, added the release.

For more information, call 602-730-3300 or go to


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