Among other topics, President Ilves discussed the following issues with Metis Strategy:
President Ilves was the fourth President of Estonia, serving two consecutive terms between 2006 and 2016. During his time in office, he ushered in a number of changes that have led many to refer to Estonia as the most digitally savvy country on earth. He successfully defended his country in a cyberwar with Russia, introduced e-voting, digital health records, and e-residency programs to name just a few. Since his term ended, President Ilves has focused on issues related to e-government and cybersecurity as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, as the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Visiting Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman-Sprogli Institute for International Studies, and as the Co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Blockchain. Ilves also works with nations looking to emulate Estonia’s digital society as the CEO of Ilves Consulting Group.
While President of Estonia, Ilves was appointed to several high positions in the field of information and communications technology in the European Union, including serving as the Chairman of the EU Task Force on eHealth, Chairman of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board, Co-chair of the advisory panel of the World Bank’s Digital Dividends report, and Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Cyber Security.
Prior to serving as President, President Ilves was a member of the European Parliament, where he was Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Prior to this, he serves as a member of the Estonian Parliament. Before being elected to Parliament, President Ilves was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, and briefly served as a Chairman of the North Atlantic Institute. Prior to being appointed Minister, Ilves served as the Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to the United States of America and Canada. During this time, he initiated a program to computerize and connect all Estonian schools, the countries first digital initiative. Before serving in the Estonian Government, President Ilves worked at the office of Radio Free Europe in Germany, first as a research and foreign policy analysis, and later as the head of the Estonian Service.
President Ilves has written extensively on topics ranging from Estonian language to global foreign and security policy, and he has received numerous international awards and honorary degrees for his work.
President Ilves obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.