Ambassador Helena Sångeland took up her duties as Permanent Representative of Sweden to the OECD and UNESCO on 24 August 2023.
Ambassador Sångeland studied Political Science, German and Business Administration and Economics at the University of Gothenburg. She is an alumna from United World College of the Atlantic (1978-80).
She commenced her diplomatic career at the Swedish Foreign Ministry in 1988 and was posted to the Embassy of Sweden in Italy in 1989. From 1992 she worked at the Embassy of Sweden in Finland and thereafter as Deputy Director at the EU Co-ordination Secretariat and Department for European Affairs at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Between 1999 and 2000 she was seconded to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland after which she served as Deputy Director at the EU Presidency Secretariat (2001-sekretariatet) at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
From 2002 to 2005 she worked as Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam and from 2005 to 2010 she was appointed Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia.
Between 2010 and 2011 Ms. Sångeland was Ambassador at the European Union Department in charge of Baltic Year 2011 at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and between 2011 and 2016, she worked as Deputy Director-General, Head of the Department for Asia and Oceania and ASEM Senior Official and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In 2016 Ms. Sångeland was appointed Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran and priorto taking up her duties as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sweden at the OECD in August 2023,Ms. Sångeland was Sweden’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and to Mongolia between 2019-2023.
Ambassador Sångeland is married to Mr. Patrick Orhammar and they have two sons.