The International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) is the leading think-tank in Estonia specialising in foreign policy, security and defence issues. We aim to be the regional knowledge hub of first choice for the security and defence communities of Estonia, its allies and partners.

ICDS was founded in 2006 by the decision of the Estonian Government, in the form of a foundation. Estonian Foreign Policy Institute merged with the ICDS as of January the 1st, 2018.

ICDS’ mission is to:

• Strengthen Estonia’s security and defence sector by identifying and analysing national security and defence challenges and proposing policy solutions;

• Sharpen strategic thinking in NATO and the EU on security issues that affect the Nordic-Baltic region by offering timely and high-quality analysis and policy recommendations;

• Contribute to enhancing Estonia’s intellectual role within NATO and the EU by developing forward-looking and innovative policy ideas and strategic solutions for the common European and transatlantic security and defence agenda;

• Raise public awareness and stimulate public debate on security, defence and foreign policy matters.

In pursuit of its mission, ICDS:

• Conducts research;

• Organises a major annual foreign policy event – the Lennart Meri Conference (LMC);

• Organises the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence (ABCD);

• Organises Estonian National Defence Courses;

• Publishes a foreign affairs magazine Diplomaatia, and

• Conducts various outreach activities.


Indrek Kannik


Kristi Raik

Deputy Director / Head of Foreign Policy Programme

Erle Rikmann

Chief Executive


Tomas Jermalavičius

Head of Studies / Research Fellow

Tony Lawrence

Head of Defence Policy & Strategy Programme / Research Fellow

Marek Kohv

Head of Security & Resilience Programme

James Sherr OBE

Honorary Fellow

Steven Blockmans

Senior Fellow

Igor Gretskiy

Research Fellow

Sanshiro Hosaka

Sanshiro Hosaka

Research Fellow

Tõnis Idarand

Research Fellow

Ivan U. K. Klyszcz

Research Fellow

Nele Loorents

Research Fellow

Merili Arjakas

Editor-in-Chief of Diplomaatia / Junior Research Fellow

Elena Atanassova-Cornelis

Japan Chair / Research Fellow

Saskia Lilli Lehtsalu

Assistant to the Japan Chair

Kristi Luigelaht

Project Manager


Ivo Juurvee

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Christofer Berglund

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Henry Rõigas

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Mike Winnerstig

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Peter Watkins

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Henrik Larsen

Non-Resident Research Fellow


Helga Kalm

Director of Lennart Meri Conference

Madis Mikko

Director of Estonian National Defence Course

Liisi Poll

Head of Communications

Andres Rattassep

Communications Adviser

Mart Põrk

Communications Specialist

Piret Karus

Project Manager of Estonian National Defence Course

Maret Koplus

Event Coordinator

Tetiana Fedosiuk

Publications and Events Assistant / Editor of Diplomaatia


Chairman of the Board

Kusti Salm

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Estonia

Members of the Board

Andres Kuningas

Head of European Union and International Affairs Department, Ministry of Finance of Estonia

Marko Mihkelson

Foreign Affairs Committee member, Estonian Parliament

Erik Moora

Media expert

Erkki Tori

Director for National Security and Defence Coordination Unit, Government Office

Jonatan Vseviov

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia