The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has appointed Matti Nurminen as the organisation’s next General Secretary, starting in summer this year.
Selected from 36 applicants, the new hire will now succeed IIHF Interim General Secretary Gion Veraguth whilst his duties begin following the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship that will be held in his home country in Tampere and Helsinki, Finland.
“Matti Nurminen was a natural choice to assume the position of General Secretary at the IIHF,” commented IIHF President Luc Tardif. “He brings to the table decades of ice hockey experience and an excellent reputation within the Finnish Ice Hockey Association and among the IIHF membership.
“Matti is a consummate professional who will be a strong addition to the IIHF office operations in Zurich, and on behalf of the IIHF Council I would like to wish him good luck with his new tasks.”
Nurminen has been described as having ‘extensive’ international ice hockey experience whilst his association with the IIHF initially grew through his work with several organising committees of various IIHF World Championship tournaments.
This includes the 2009 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championship, and the 2003, 2013, and 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. In 2012 Nurminen was also selected to serve as a member of the IIHF Competition Committee, a position he has held ever since.
Born on 9 January 1973 in Helsinki, Finland, Nurminen studied at the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration and graduated with a Master of Science degree in Economics in 1998.
On his new position, Nurminen stated: “I would naturally like to thank President Tardif and the IIHF Council for choosing me to this important position.
“I feel extremely privileged and honoured for the opportunity to become a part of the international ice hockey family, and I look forward to working together with the Council, the IIHF Staff, the Member National Associations and all the other stakeholders within the ice hockey community to grow our beloved sport globally.”
In 2010, Nurminen became CEO of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association (FIHA) and was responsible for all FIHA organisations and activities. Under his leadership, the FIHA worked towards setting new organisation standards for budget, sponsorship and on-ice success.
The new General Secretary has also been involved as a board member for the Vierumäki Sport Institute in Finland, which has played host to the annual IIHF Development and High Performance Camps.
Some of Nurminen’s key responsibilities have been outlined as leading, staffing and managing the IIHF office, running the day to day administration and being responsible for all day to day operative tasks of the IIHF.
Further duties include negotiating, preparing and proposing long-term decisions on political, strategic and commercial matters involving the IIHF to the Council, as well as reporting on IHF Office activities to the Council and executing its decisions.