22 Jan 2024

The Zbigniew Brzeziński Memorial Lecture Series: Keynote Address by H.E. Toomas Hendrik ILVES, former President of the Republic of Estonia

From 16:30 till 17:30
Auditorium Copernicus
Natolin (Warsaw) Campus

On Monday, 22 January 2024, the College of Europe in Natolin had the honour to host H.E. Toomas Hendrik ILVES, former President of the Republic of Estonia, within the Zbigniew Brzeziński Memorial Lecture Series.

The address was followed by a short reception where the Natolin students will have the occasion to talk with H.E. Toomas Hendrik ILVES and present guests.

H.E. Toomas Hendrik ILVES

Toomas Hendrik ILVES served as president of Estonia from 2006-16. He is renowned for making Estonia one of the most digitally advanced nations through innovative policies that invested heavily in the future.

Mr ILVES was born to Estonian refugees and raised in the United States. He holds a BA from Columbia and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania.  He moved to Munich in 1984 to work as an analyst and researcher for Radio Free Europe, eventually becoming Director of the radio’s Estonian Service.

From 1993-96 he served as Estonia’s ambassador to the United States. In 1996 he was appointed country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, a post he held until 1998, and again from 1999 to 2002. In that time, he successfully steered Estonia into the EU and NATO in 2004

He ran for the presidency of Estonia as a joint candidate of the Social Democratic, Conservative, and Liberal Parties and was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2011.

Mr ILVES used his office to further to the country’s leadership in digital governance as well as in cyber security. Since leaving office, he spent three and a half years as a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University and the Center for Advance Study in the Behavioral Sciences while lecturing worldwide on the digitization of governance and public services. While teaching at Tartu University in Estonia, he also began advising the WHO-Europe on technological solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic and - more broadly - cross-border health.

The Zbigniew Brzeziński Memorial Lecture Series

The Zbigniew Brzeziński Memorial Lecture Series, organized by the College of Europe in Natolin (Warsaw, Poland), is a series of high-level lectures on international security topics in memory of Professor Zbigniew Brzeziński.

The main goal of the series is to highlight Brzeziński’s political and diplomatic legacy, with particular emphasis on his focus on the importance of ethics, values, and human rights within foreign policy, as joint values have always had the potential to strengthen the transatlantic alliance.

Brzeziński never forgot about those trapped behind the Iron Curtain or left behind walls of authoritarianism and poverty. The Zbigniew Brzeziński Memorial Lecture Series honours this legacy and looks for ways in which we can support those who do not yet enjoy the prosperity and liberty that members of the transatlantic alliance can frequently take for granted.

The Zbigniew Brzeziński Memorial Lecture Series was inaugurated at the College of Europe in Natolin by the Hon. Madeleine K. ALBRIGHT †, former US Secretary of State. More about the inauguration: Hon. Madeleine K. ALBRIGHT, former US Secretary of State, inaugurates the Zbigniew Brzeziński Memorial Lecture Series.

Images from the event are available on our Flickr account below!

23.01.2024 - H.E Toomas Hendrik ILVES (former President of Estonia) Speaks at Natolin

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