Heidi Huuhtanen is the Head of CMI's Middle East Programme. She has a leadership role over CMI's activities in the region, which focus on supporting conflict prevention and resolution. She is responsible for partnership and activity development, as well as fundraising. Dr Huuhtanen first joined CMI as an adviser to the Martti Ahtisaari Rapid Reaction Facility in 2008 and has since 2010 headed the Middle East Programme.
Dr Huuhtanen is specialized in conflict, state-building and governance in the Middle East. She has previously worked as an analyst for the West Asia North Africa Forum in Jordan, as a Director of the Middle East Project at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, as a researcher at the Unit for Policy Planning and Research at the Political Department of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as a project coordinator at the Ad-Hoc Task Force for Counter-terrorism at the Department for Security Policy of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and as an political assistant at the Finnish Parliament. Dr Huuhtanen has a PhD in Middle East International Relations (University of Durham, UK).