Sanna Marin, the former Prime Minister of Finland, has recently taken on a new role as a strategic advisor at the Tony Blair Institute (TBI). Despite not being widely known even in the UK, this international non-profit organization, founded by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, is influential in its sphere of activity. The institute assists governments and political leaders worldwide, striving to effect change and promote development.
The Tony Blair Institute: An Overview
The TBI was founded by Tony Blair in 2016 and has since been influential in advising various governments. However, it has faced criticism for serving as an advisor to the government of Saudi Arabia following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In terms of its financial status, the institute had a turnover of $83.1 million in 2021, up from $45.5 million the previous year. Certain parties argue that the combination of Blair's considerable wealth and TBI's questionable client relationships, such as with Saudi Arabia, have made it a target for criticism.
Marin's Appointment Stirs Little Public Debate in Britain
Interestingly, Marin's appointment to TBI has not sparked significant public debate in Britain. Marin, who served as one of Europe's youngest leaders, is primarily known in the UK for her young age as a prime minister, certain aspects of her personal life, and her partying habits. Her political work has not garnered extensive coverage. According to some journalists, Marin was likely hired by TBI for her international visibility.
Despite her reputation, the question remains as to how Marin, known for advocating for human rights, will fit into an organization that has not shied away from collaborating with states known for gross violations of these rights. Commenting on Marin's recruitment, Tony Blair stated that their mission is to assist political leaders worldwide in effecting change, and he believes Marin knows exactly how to do this.
After being relieved of her duties as a member of parliament, Marin headed to London to meet her new colleagues at TBI. Following this, she traveled to Montreal, Canada, to attend the Global Action Progress Summit, joining other attendees such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Keir Starmer, the leader of the British Labour Party.
Marin's appointment to the Tony Blair Institute marks a significant shift in her career trajectory. Her international visibility and experience in political leadership are likely to serve her well in her new role. However, her ability to reconcile her advocacy for human rights with the institute's controversial collaborations remains to be seen. As Marin embarks on this new journey, it will be interesting to monitor the impact of her contributions to the institute and its various global initiatives.