Dr. Penttinen is the Chief Executive Officer for Gulf CDC, based in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is leading the establishment of this regional Center for Disease Prevention and Control in a scientific and managerial role.
Dr. Penttinen is a public health leader with a distinguished career of more than 20 years in managing and leading disease prevention and control activities in multiple countries, at local, national and international levels both in the public and private sector.
Prior to his current role, Dr. Penttinen lead the establishment of epidemic intelligence activities at ECDC, lead the scientific and programmatic work on the influenza and other respiratory viruses. He managed multiple public health emergencies for ECDC, including the 2009 influenza pandemic and the COVID-19 pandemic.
His research interests include surveillance, pandemic preparedness, epidemic intelligence, surveillance of respiratory viruses and vaccines.
Dr. Penttinen has also worked with the national public health institutes in Finland and Sweden and advised a large privately funded public health program in Papua, Indonesia with components on primary health care, TB, HIV-STI and malaria control.
Dr. Penttinen studied at University of Kuopio for his MD and PhD degrees, University of Helsinki for his specialization in Healthcare management and Harvard School of Public Health for his MPH. He is married, has three sons, and tries to be active on