Jussi Ilmari Pajunen (born 5 September 1954 in Helsinki) is a Finnish politician of the National Coalition Party and former city manager of Helsinki.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Pajunen held many municipal positions of trust. He served as a member of the City Council in 1997 - 2005 and became a member of the City Board in 1999. In 2003 he assumed the position of Chairman of the City Board, holding it until his appointment as City Manager of Helsinki.
Before assuming his duties as City Manager of Helsinki, Jussi Pajunen worked as Managing Director and as Chairman of the Board of the family firm Edvard Pajunen Ltd.
With 40,000 employees, the City of Helsinki is the biggest employer in Finland. Following the Nordic welfare model, Finnish local authorities have an exceptionally wide range of responsibilities. The prime responsibility of the Mayor is the management of the city’s approximately 4.5 billion euro budget.
Under Mr Pajunen’s leadership, Helsinki has been developed as a global business hub and centre of knowledge, basing its attractiveness on being Fun and Functional. Mayor Pajunen was closely involved in Helsinki’s bid to become World Design Capital in 2012 under the theme Open Helsinki. He continues to advocate for greater openness in the city administration and a strengthened sense of community within the city.
Jussi Pajunen has a B.Sc and M.Sc from the Helsinki School of Economics and MBA from INSEAD in France. He speaks Finnish, Swedish, English, and French fluently. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Aalto University School of Economics. He carries the honorary title of Ylipormestari (Finnish) / Överborgmästare (Swedish).
Mr Pajunen was earlier a member of the Liberal Party and a small group known as Reform Party Liberals. He moved to the larger National Coalition Party in 1996.
Jussi Pajunen is married and has five grown-up children.
While serving as a member and a chairman of the City Board Mr. Jussi Pajunen was also a chairman of the board in a private real estate company Malmin Nova. However Mr. Pajunen did not disqualify himself when the Master Plan 2002 was approved in the City Board on 26 November 2005. The Supreme Administrative Court of Finland judificially disqualified Mr. Pajunen and the part of the Master Plan that would have had significant effect in the Malmi area was reverted.