Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Distinguished Fellow

Toomas Hendrik Ilves is a Distinguished Nonresident Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis and a former president of Estonia (2006-2016).

Before assuming the office of the presidency Ilves served as vice-president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (2004-2006), foreign minister of Estonia (1996-2002), where he led Estonia’s EU and NATO accession process. From 1993-96 he served as Estonia’s first post-independence ambassador to Washington. From 1988 to 1993 Ilves was director of the Estonian Service at RFE/RL and prior to that a research analyst in the Research Department of RFE/RL.

He is best-known internationally for his work 1995-2016 pushing Estonia to digitize its government. He is currently writing a book on democracy in the digital era.

Ilves served as chairman of the EU Task Force on eHealth from 2011 to 2012 and was chairman of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board at the invitation of the European Commission from 2012 to 2014. In 2013 he chaired the High-Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms convened by ICANN. From 2014 to 2015 Ilves was the co-chair of the advisory panel of the World Bank's World Development Report 2016 "Digital Dividends" and was also the chair of World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Cyber Security beginning in June 2014.

Starting from 2016, Ilves co-chairs The World Economic Forum working group The Global Futures Council on Blockchain Technology. In 2017 Ilves became an advisory council member of German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy. Starting in 2018, Ilves is a member of the advisory board of the Oxford University Centre for Technology and Global Affairs. Starting in 2019, Ilves is a member of the Board of Free Russia Foundation. Until 2020 Ilves was a Berggruen Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Global Digital Policy Incubator, Stanford University.

Written by Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Credit: Markus Spiske via Unsplash. Missing in Europe’s Tech Regulations – Security In an interview with CEPA, President Toomas Ilves criticized the EU for failing to consider security risks in its recent series of landmark tech regulations.
Credit: Unsplash. Avoid Tech Regulation that Opens the Door For Russian Cyberattacks It’s not just Russian tanks and missiles that threaten Ukraine and the Western alliance. Its Russian cyberattacks.
Photo: People queue to cross to Ukraine following planned border closing following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the border crossing in Dorohusk, Poland, March 27, 2020. Credit: Jakub Orzechowski/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS EU Must Stop Moaning on Ukraine and Prepare for a Refugee Crisis Rather than complain about its exclusion from today’s US-Russia talks, the EU should take on something it really can handle: preparing for waves of Ukrainian refugees
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