Mr Itälä took up the position of Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in August 2018.
With a background in law and experience working as a police commissioner and lawyer, Mr Itälä kicked off his political career as a Member of the Finish Parliament, where he focused on fundamental rights. In 2000, he became Minister of the Interior, and in 2001, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Finland.
In 2004, Mr Itälä was elected Member of the European Parliament, a position he held for eight years. During this time, he served, among others, on the Committee on Budgetary Control and the Committee on Transport and Tourism. Mr Itälä also worked as a Member of the European Court of Auditors for six years, before being appointed as Head of OLAF.