Riitta's journey with UArctic - which began already in 1998 with the Circumpolar Universities Association Secretariat - will end in January when she takes up a new position at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland. Those of us who have worked with Riitta since those times, when UArctic was barely an idea on paper, cannot quite imagine how we will survive without her. Somehow we will have to take inspiration from her brutal efficiency, no-nonsense attitude and remarkable humility and apply those characteristics to our own work.

Failing that, we can hope that Riitta's journey soon brings her back to us. But for now we can only wish Riitta the best in her new role, and remember fondly her time working with us. If any of you have a memory or a message to about Riitta to share, please send them to secretariat@uarctic.org and we will collect them as a tribute to her contribution to UArctic.

I still remember the very young an insecure Riitta we hired way back in mid 90's. She quickly grew into her job, and very soon the job starting growing with her. It has been a privilege working with Riitta, " says Outi Snellman, UArctic's Vice President Administration, who has been Riitta's supervisor in her various roles at the University of Lapland for nearly twenty years.