Ahonen has completed a Master's degree in music at the Cologne University of Music and has acquired additional skills, including studying for a specialist qualification in management at Omnia, the Joint Authority of Education in the Espoo region.
Ahonen brings diverse management experience from implementing the public administration's strategic priorities into processes and operative work, as well as in network and personnel management. Due to his work experience, he has a strong understanding of the culture and leisure sector, as well as an extensive network both in Finland and internationally.
Prior to his current position, Ahonen has been the cultural director of the City of Tampere since 2021. Previously, he was the general manager of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra from 2019 to 2021 and the general manager of the Tapiola Sinfonietta i from 2016 to 2019. In addition, he has worked as the deputy general manager for the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2015–2016 and as the event manager for Helsingin Musiikkitalo Oy from 2015 to 2016. He also has previous work experience at, among others, the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki as a producer of opera training, as well as in various roles in the Finnish Broadcasting Company, such as journalist, presenter and producer.
As Head of Division, Juha Ahonen will be responsible for the strategic planning, achievement of goals and financial management of Helsinki’s Culture and Leisure Division. In addition, he will be responsible for the management of the organisation's staff and the development of the operating culture. Ahonen will work in close cooperation with the culture and leisure committee and the deputy mayor of the sector and will be a key member of the city's management team, along with other managers. His direct subordinates are four service area heads, the sector's administrative director and a leading expert. The Culture and Leisure Division employs approximately 1,800 people.