|Minister of Social Services|
22 June 2011 – 24 May 2013
|Preceded by||Paula Risikko|
|Succeeded by||Susanna Huovinen|
|Member of Parliament|
12 January 1969 |
|Political party||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|Children||Alexander (b. 1999)|
|Religion||Eastern Orthodox |
Maria Edith Guzenina (née Stieren, previously Richardson and Lindell; born 12 January 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish politician who became a household name in Finland after working as a first Finnish VJ for MTV Europe from 1994 until 1997. Her career in journalism started in the late 1980s, when only at the age of 17 and still a student in high school she became a co-host of a famous Finnish television personality Timo T.A. Mikkonen in his daily magazine type program. Since then she has hosted several television programs and shows for the Finnish National Broadcasting Company, hosted several radio talk shows and has written articles and columns for numerous Finnish newspapers and magazines.
Guzenina was elected to the Parliament of Finland in 2007 and in 2011. She has worked as a Minister of Health and Social Services from 22 June 2011 to 24 of May 2013.
Career in journalism
Guzenina worked as a radio journalist in the now defunct Radio Aino and Yle Q, which were both AOR radio stations targeted at the thirty-something and forty-something demographics. On radio she could be heard leading a daily talk show discussing current issues with politicians and experts and in addition cohosting a programme with a man about the pitfalls of relationships for couples. Guzenina wrote a humourus book together with Seppo Pietikäinen on the subject entitled Parisuhteen käsikirja ('A manual for relationships') and published in 2005.
She has been elected a member of the Espoo municipal council in 2004 and Member of Parliament in the spring elections of 2007. She gained 12578 votes, 10th most in the country. In June 2008 Guzenina was elected as the second deputy chairman of the SDP. She was re-elected to the parliament in 2011 with 14581 votes, which was the most votes amongst female candidates and 7th in the whole country.
After the election she was appointed Minister of Social Services (the second minister position in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health) in the government of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen. The Social Democratic Party announced after the 2011 elections that it will likely reshuffle its ministers halfway through the term. Of the six SDP ministers, three, including Guzenina, were swapped in May 2013. She was replaced by Susanna Huovinen.
In addition to her role in parliament, Guzenina has been serving as member of the Finnish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 2013. She is currently the Vice-President of the Assembly (since 2015) and the Third Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy. She is also a member of the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) and the Sub-Committee on the Middle East and the Arab World.
Marriage to British Mark Richardson, the drummer of Skunk Anansie fame, ended in 2001 due to the spouse's alleged infidelity. Custody of their joint child Alexander  was entrusted to Guzenina's who allows paternal visits.
Guzenina has given several interviews in Finland making comments about her troubled teenage years in a dysfunctional family. Born to a German father and a Russian mother, she was raised by her single mother as an only child. In the spring of 2013 Russia accused Finland of mistreating Russian origin families in the child welfare services. Guzenina replied that in Finland all are treated equal and one can even become a minister with Russian background. Guzenina is fluent in Russian.
Guzenina-Richardson is a high school graduate.
In 2014 she dropped the name Richardson from her official lastname.
- "Körtti, juutalainen, muslimi – HS selvitti kansanedustajien uskonnolliset vakaumukset" (in Finnish). Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- "Maria Guzenina-Richardson lyhensi sukunimensä" (in Finnish). Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "Maria Guzenina" (in Finnish). Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- "Edustajamatrikkeli". Eduskunta.
- Kaikki ehdokkaat - Ehdokkaiden äänimäärät Yleisradio. 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2011. (Finnish)
- PACE elects its President and Vice-Presidents Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, press release of January 26, 2015.
- Maria Guzenina City (Finnish)
- "Guzenina-Richardson pärjää Venäjällä ilman tulkkia" (in Finnish). Retrieved 3 November 2015.