Former President of the Republic of Estonia, former Member of the European Parliament, former Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hoover Institution, Stanford University, co-chair of World Economic Forum Blockchain group, board member of Munich Security Conference advisory board
Toomas Ilves is an Estonian politician, diplomat, and journalist who served as the fourth President of the Republic of Estonia from 2006-2016. Before his terms as President, Ilves served as Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico 1993-1996, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Estonia, 1996-1998 and 1999-2002, a Member of the Estonian Parliament 2002-2004, and as a member of the European Parliament where he was Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee 2004-2006.
Throughout his career, Toomas Ilves has advocated and supported digital independence and security through his creation of large-scale digital projects that empowered the people of Estonia and his work in cybersecurity with the World Bank’s World World Development Report 2016, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Cyber Security, and through his current position as a board member of the Munich Security Conference advisory board.
Ilves began his long and contributive career with teaching, researching, and writing for various groups and institutions such as Columbia University and Radio Free Europe. He has continued to publish and write, primarily in Estonian and English, but also Finnish, Latvian, Hungarian, and Russian. His works have been recognized and honoured by many groups and institutions; in 2017 he was awarded the World Leader in Cybersecurity Award by Boston Global Forum and earlier in 2014 he was awarded the Freedom Award by the Atlantic Council.
Ilves received his Masters in psychology from Pennsylvania University in 1978 and his Bachelors in psychology from Columbia University in 1976.