Hannele Niemi is a professor, and Research Director at the University of Helsinki and has been nominated as UNESCO Chair on Educational Ecosystems for Equity and Quality of Learning 2018-2021. She is also the Chair of The University Board at the University of Lapland. Hannele Niemi was a professor of education (1998-2016) at the University of Helsinki. She started as the Research Director in 2017. She is the Chair of the Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Institute (JoLii) that includes 9 Finnish universities, working in cooperation with Beijing Normal University, and many Chinese Universities. Her experience at the University of Helsinki also includes her roles as the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs (2003–2009), the Dean of the Faculty of Education (2001–2003), the Head of the Department of Education (1998–2000), and the Vice Dean (1998–2000) of the Faculty of Education. Prior to working at the University of Helsinki, Niemi served as a professor of education in the Teacher Education Departments of Oulu, Turku, and Tampere Universities in Finland (1987–1998). She also served as a visiting professor at Michigan State University (1989) and as a visiting scholar at Stanford University (2010, 2013, and 2015, 7 months in total).
Niemi has been given the honor of Doctor or Professor Honoris Causa at the University of Bucharest in Romania (2010), the J.C. Koh Professorship at Nayang Technological University in Singapore (2010), the honor of Doctor at two Finnish universities. She was selected as the most influential person in education in 2013 by the Finnish Teacher’s Union and was invited to become a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters in Academia (Scientiarum Fennica) in 2004. Niemi has been a scientific leader for several large national research projects in Finland, including the Finnable 2020 (finnable.fi) program for advancing educational technology and 21st century skills in schools (2012–2015). She also served as Director of the national research program “Life as Learning”, which was supported by the Academy of Finland (2002–2006). She has been a member of a Steering Committee of the British National Research Programme (the Teaching and Learning Research Programme [TLRP]; 2003–2008). She currently serves as an advisor and reviewer for several scientific journals.