Johanna Poutanen is Head for Women in Peacemaking at the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). CMI, founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate President Martti Ahtisaari, is one of the world’s leading independent organisations specialising dialogue and mediation. In her current role, Johanna Poutanen leads CMI’s work on strengthening women’s inclusion in peace mediation. This entails both tailored support to women’s participation in specific conflict prevention and conflict resolution processes, as well as enhancing gender-sensitive mediation capacities of key actors in the field globally.
Johanna Poutanen has extensive experience in peace mediation and conflict management, with specialist expertise in women and youth participation in peace processes. Prior to her current role, she served as CMI’s Country Manager for South Sudan based in Juba 2013-2015; leading the country-level support to a high-level dialogue process within the ruling party, alongside cross-track dialogue initiatives with women parliamentarians and national youth leaders. Before joining CMI, she worked to support constructive cross-party dialogue in transition contexts with emphasis on youth and women’s participation. From 2007-2010 she was based in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she facilitated a pioneering dialogue platform among the major parties’ youth and student wings as part of the country’s peace process. She has also worked for a variety of international agencies in the field of peace and security, including the Strategic Planning Unit of the UN Secretary-General in New York and the Finnish Embassy in Nepal; and grassroots dialogue initiatives in e.g. Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Kenya.