Liisa Laakso has acted in different national and international positions of trust including the Finnish Government’s Research and Innovation Council. Currently she is member of the Human Rights Committee of the Council of Finnish Academies. Before joining the Nordic Africa Institute she served as the Rector of the University of Tampere and before that as the Dean at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Science. She was nominated to professorship and UNESCO Chair at the University of Jyväskylä in 2004, in the field of Development and International Cooperation. Her research interests cover Africa, world politics, democratisation, international development policies and crisis management policies of the European Union. Her research project at the Nordic Africa Institute focuses on the profile of political science discipline in African universities and its impact on African politics.