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


Dmitri Teperik

Chief Executive


Tomas Jermalavičius

Head of Studies / Research Fellow

Tony Lawrence

Head of Defence Policy & Strategy Programme / Research Fellow

Ivo Juurvee

Head of Security & Resilience Programme / Research Fellow

Kalev Stoicescu

Research Fellow

Ramon Loik

Research Fellow

Martin Hurt

Research Fellow

Tõnis Idarand

Research Fellow

Indrek Tarand

Research Fellow

Kristi Luigelaht

Project Manager


Kristi Raik

Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS

James Sherr OBE

Senior Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS

Piret Kuusik

Research Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS

Frank Jüris

Research Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS

Aimar Ventsel

Non-Resident Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS

Sigrid Nuutre

Project Manager of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS

Elsi Paas

Elsi Paas

Research Assistant of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS


Christofer Berglund

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Andrea Bonelli

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Ben Hodges

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Roger N. McDermott

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Henry Rõigas

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Gintautas Zenkevičius

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Emmet Tuohy

Non-Resident Research Fellow

Mike Winnerstig

Non-Resident Research Fellow


Eeva Eek-Pajuste

Director of Lennart Meri Conference

Madis Mikko

Director of Estonian National Defence Course

Triin Oppi

Head of Communications & Managing Editor of ICDS Diplomaatia magazine

Mele Pesti

Mele Pesti

Communications Advisor

Piret Karus

Event Coordinator

Arle Soeson

Event Coordinator

Maret Koplus

Event Coordinator (on parental leave)


Epp Paalma

Office Manager

Keron Sepp

IT & Technical Support Manager


Chairman of the Board

Kusti Salm

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Estonia

Members of the Board

Marko Mihkelson

Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, Estonian Parliament

Peeter Kuimet

Security Adviser to the President of the Republic of Estonia

Indrek Sirp

Director for National Security and Defence Coordination, Government Office of the Republic of Estonia

Jonatan Vseviov

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia

Brigadier General Riho Ühtegi

Commander of the Estonian Defence League

Andres Kuningas

Head of European Union and International Affairs Department

Ministry of Finance