Previously, she was the first Director of the Finnish National Human Rights Institution, the Finnish Human Rights Centre that she established. She served as its Director from March 2012 until February 2024. She was also Chairperson of the European Network of Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) from March 2022 until 2024.
Prior to returning to Finland in 2012, Sirpa worked abroad for some 20 years in expert and managerial positions in international organisations, including at the World Bank, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the EU.
Sirpa was Chairperson of FRA’s Management Board from 2017 and a member of the Board since 2015. She has worked on human rights and rule of law both in the field and at the headquarters. She has extensive experience working in post-conflict settings and countries in transition. Sirpa is a lawyer by profession, having graduated from the University of Turku, Finland.