Kersti Kaljulaid

Kersti Kaljulaid (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈkersti ˈkɑljulɑi̯t]; born 30 December 1969) is an Estonian politician who is the fifth and current President of Estonia, in office since 10 October 2016. She is the first female head of state of Estonia since the country declared independence in 1918, as well as the youngest ever President, age 46 at the time of her election.[1]

Kaljulaid is a former state official, serving as Estonia's representative in the European Court of Auditors from 2004 until 2016.[2] After several unsuccessful rounds of Estonian presidential elections in 2016, Kaljulaid was brought in as a "dark horse", and on 30 September 2016 she was nominated by the majority of parliamentary parties as a joint candidate for President of Estonia, as the only official candidate for that round. Kaljulaid was voted President of Estonia on 3 October 2016, with 81 votes and 17 abstentions.[3][4]

Kersti Kaljulaid
Ināra Mūrniece tiekas ar Igaunijas prezidenti (croped)
5th President of Estonia
Assumed office
10 October 2016
Prime MinisterTaavi Rõivas
Jüri Ratas
Preceded byToomas Hendrik Ilves
Personal details
Born30 December 1969 (age 49)
Tartu, Estonia
Political partyPro Patria Union (2001–2004)
Spouse(s)Georgi-Rene Maksimovski
Alma materUniversity of Tartu



In 1987, Kaljulaid graduated from Tallinn Secondary School no. 44.[5] During her studies there, she was a member of the Students' Scientific Association, specializing in ornithology.[6] In 1992, she graduated from University of Tartu cum laude as a biologist. She is a member of Estonian female student corporation, Filiae Patriae. In 2001, she graduated from the University of Tartu with an MBA in business management.[7] Her thesis was titled as "Riigi poolt asutatud sihtasutuste juhtimissüsteemi täiustamine" or "The improvement of the management system of state-founded foundations" in English.[8]

Besides Estonian, Kaljulaid is fluent in English, Finnish, French and to a certain extent, Russian.[9][10]

Aku Sorainen ja Kersti Kaljulaid
University of Tartu Council seminar in 2015.

Business career

From 1996 to 1997 Kaljulaid was a sales manager in state-owned telecom Eesti Telefon and from 1997 to 1998 a project manager in Hoiupanga Investeeringute AS. From 1998 to 1999 she was employed in Hansabank's investment banking division Hansabank Markets.[8][2] From 1999 to 2002, Kaljulaid worked as the economic advisor of Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar.[2] From 2002 to 2004, she was the director of Iru Power Plant, a subsidiary of the state-owned energy company Eesti Energia.[11] She was the first woman to lead a power plant in Estonia.[1]

In 2004, when Estonia joined the European Union, Kaljulaid was appointed the country's representative at the European Court of Auditors.[1] Since 2011, Kaljulaid has been the chairperson of the board of the University of Tartu.[12]

Political career

Kersti Kaljulaid ja Toomas Hendrik Ilves abikaasadega
Kaljulaid, her husband Georgi-Rene Maksimovski, outgoing President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and his wife Ieva Ilves at Kaljulaid's inauguration, Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn, 10 October 2016

Kaljulaid has defined herself as a liberal conservative.[13] She has spoken in support of strong civil society with less state interference, whilst placing high importance on helping those in need.[1][14] She holds liberal views on social issues such as LGBT rights and immigration.[1] She has often published opinion pieces in Estonian media, considering the position of Estonia in the European Union and on social and economical matters. Additionally, she has been a regular participant in political analysis programmes of Radio Kuku, e.g. "Keskpäevatund".[15]

From 2001 to 2004, she was a member of the political party Pro Patria Union, a predecessor of the current Pro Patria and Res Publica Union,[16] yet did not run in the elections.[2]

As Kaljulaid's term as a member of the European Court of Auditors was due to end on 7 May 2016, she was confirmed as the next head of PRAXIS Center for Policy Studies in November 2015. Although the Estonian government should have proposed her replacement in the court by 7 February 2016, it still had not managed to do so by the end of her term, so she remained in the position.[17][18][19]

On 19 September 2016, the freshly founded Development Monitoring Advisory Board at the Chancellary of Estonian Parliament voted Kaljulaid to be its chair.[20]

Meeting between the President of Ukraine and the President of Estonia began 01
Kaljulaid with Petro Poroshenko in May 2018
Vladimir Putin and Kersti Kaljulaid (2019-04-18) 08
Kaljulaid with Vladimir Putin in April 2019

After several failed rounds in the Estonian presidential elections in August through September 2016, a so-called "council of elders" of the Riigikogu, which included the representatives of all parliamentary parties, the speaker and vice-speakers, asked for Kaljulaid's consent and then proposed her as the only potential presidential candidate to be put before the members of the Riigikogu on 3 October 2016. Her candidacy was officially registered on 30 September.[21] Riigikogu Speaker Eiki Nestor said that Kaljulaid undoubtedly had the required 68 votes from the 101-member Riigikogu, but the exact number remained to be seen.[22] Ultimately her candidacy was supported by 90 Riigikogu MPs.[23] She won the elections by 81 votes with 17 abstainers and no votes against her,[3] while the only parliamentary party that had publicly declared not to support her was EKRE which had only 7 votes.[24]

The main objection raised repeatedly during her candidacy by media as well as politicians and street polls was her being relatively unknown, compared to the candidates that had participated in the campaign.[25][26][27] She confronted the objection in her public letter and during several interviews by promising to become visible across the country, visiting different areas and talking to the people directly.[28] In mid-October 2016, the first conducted survey showed Kaljulaid's approval rating at 73%.[29]

In 2017, she became the first Estonian to be featured in the Forbes magazine's list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women, placed at 78th.[30][31], and came twenty second among the most influential female political leaders.[32]

Personal life

Kaljulaid has a daughter and a son from her first marriage. She is also a grandmother.[33] Kaljulaid's second husband is Georgi-Rene Maksimovski; they have two sons.[34][35]

Kaljulaid's half-brother, Estonian Centre Party politician Raimond Kaljulaid, is the Elder of Põhja-Tallinn district[36] of the capital of Estonia, Tallinn.[37]


National honour

EST Order of the National Coat of Arms - 1st Class BAR
EST Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana - 1st Class BAR
EST Order of the White Star - 1st Class BAR
EST Order of the Cross of the Eagle 1st Class BAR
EST Estonian Red Cross Order 1Class BAR

Foreign honours

FIN Order of the White Rose Grand Cross BAR
LVA Order of the Three Stars - Commander BAR
NLD Order of the Dutch Lion - Grand Cross BAR
PRT Order of Prince Henry - Grand Collar BAR


  • In 2009, European Movement Estonia awarded Kaljulaid with the European of the Year title.[42]
  • In 2014, the Open Estonia Foundation awarded her the Award of Unity for her analyses and comments explaining the function of European Union for Estonian audiences.[43]

See Also


  1. ^ a b c d e Former European auditor Kersti Kaljulaid elected president of Estonia Estonian World, 2 October 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Kes on Kersti Kaljulaid? Archived 1 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine Postimees, 27 September 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b Kersti Kaljulaid sai 81 häälega uueks Eesti presidendiks ERR, 3 October 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 3 October 2016
  4. ^ "Estonia's parliament elects country's first female president". Reuters. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  5. ^ Tallinna Mustamäe Gümnaasiumi vilistlased (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  6. ^ Kaljulaid, K. (1986) Vainurästa (Turdus ilacius) pesitsusbioloogiast Eestis. In: Eesti NSV Õpilaste Teadusliku Ühingu VI teaduskonverentsi teesid, Tallinn, p. 24 (in Estonian)
  7. ^ Kersti Kaljulaid – elu Euroopas, kodu Eestis Archived 3 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Postimees, 7 May 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  8. ^ a b Kersti Kaljulaid. "The improvement of the management system of state-founded foundations" in ETIS, the Database of Estonian Science (in Estonian) Accessed on 30 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Biography". Vabariigi Presidendi Kantselei. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  10. ^ "New President Of Estonia Doesn't Mind to Speak Russian".
  11. ^ ETIS (in Estonian)
  12. ^ Tartu Ülikooli nõukogu esimeheks sai Kersti Kaljulaid, University of Tartu's press release, 2011 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  13. ^ Otti Eylandt, Kersti Kaljulaid: inimestega tuleb rääkida – igal pool toimib Eesti Päevaleht, 29 September 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  14. ^ Kersti Kaljulaid: pagulasküsimuses on vaja julgust nagu iseseisvuse taastamise ajal Archived 11 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Postimees, 9 September 2015 (in Estonian). Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  15. ^ Eurominutid. Postimees. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  16. ^ Estonian Business Register Archived 21 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine (in Estonian)
  17. ^ Praxist valiti juhtima Kersti Kaljulaid UT, November 2015 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  18. ^ Kersti Kaljulaiu ametiaeg Euroopa Kontrollikojas lõppes, kuid ta jääb valitsuse otsustamatuse tõttu ametisse ega saa asuda Praxise juhiks Delfi, 6 May 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  19. ^ Kaljulaid: viivitus teeb kontrollikoja töö keerulisemaks, kuid tuleme toime Archived 1 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Postimees, 29 April 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  20. ^ Arenguseire nõukoja esimeheks valiti Kersti Kaljulaid Estonian National Broadcasting (ERR), 19 June 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  21. ^ "FOTOD ja VIDEO | Vanematekogu tegi ettepaneku esitada presidendikandidaadiks Kersti Kaljulaid" Estonian National Broadcasting (ERR), 27 September 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  22. ^ Estonia: Parlt parties voice support of Kaljulaid's candidacy The Baltic Times, 28 September 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  23. ^ В поддержку кандидатуры Керсти Кальюлайд было собрано 90 подписей. Postimees, 30 September 2016 (in Russian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  24. ^ EKRE ei ole muutnud Kaljulaidi suhtes meelt ja oma hääli talle ei anna Archived 5 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Postimees, 3 October 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  25. ^ DELFI TÄNAVAKÜSITLUS: Kui tuntud on Kersti Kaljulaid rahva seas? Delfi, 27 September 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  26. ^ Kaljulaiust: rahvale tundmatu inimene, kelle nimegagi eksitakse. Postimees, 28 September 2015 (in Estonian). Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  27. ^ JANEK MÄGGI: Eestile otsiti presidenti justkui personalifirma kaudu Pealinn, 3 October 2015 (in Estonian). Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  28. ^ Kersti Kaljulaid: minu kiri kõigile Eestimaa inimestele Archived 5 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Postimees, 29 September 2015 (in Estonian). Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  29. ^ "New Estonian president's approval rating at 73%". ERR. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  30. ^ "President first Estonian to make it to Forbes' World's 100 Most Powerful Women list". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  31. ^ "President Kaljulaid among Forbes' 100 most powerful women". Estonian World. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  32. ^ Howard, Caroline. "Women Who Rule the World: The 25 Most Powerful Female Political Leaders 2017". Forbes. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  33. ^ Kersti Kaljulaid ujub presidendiakvaariumis üksinda: nad on kõik mu seljataga olemas, mu perekond Delfi, 28 September 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  34. ^ Kes on Kersti Kaljulaiu salapärane abikaasa Georgi-Rene Maksimovski? Õhtuleht, 29 September 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  35. ^ TTÜ lõpetajad 1918–2006, Tallinn Technical University (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  36. ^ "Prosecutor ends criminal proceeding concerning Raimond Kaljulaid"., 10 May 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  37. ^ Ühe perekonna tähtis nädal: Eesti uueks presidendiks võib saada äsja abielu lahutanud Raimond Kaljulaiu poolõde. Delfi, 27 September 2016 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ Aasta eurooplaseks valiti Kersti Kaljulaid Archived 1 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Postimees, 9 May 2009 (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  43. ^ The Unity Award, Open Estonian Foundation (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 September 2016.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
President of Estonia
1936 Estonian National Assembly election

National Assembly elections were held in Estonia between 12 and 14 December 1936. All parties except the Patriotic League were banned and only 30 of the 80 constituencies were contested. Voter turnout was 57.8%.

2016 Estonian presidential election

An indirect election took place in Estonia in 2016 to elect the president of Estonia, who is the country's head of state. The Riigikogu — the Parliament of Estonia — elected Kersti Kaljulaid to be the next head of state of Estonia to succeed Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who had served his second and final term as president. (Ilves was term-limited.) Kaljulaid is the first female head of state of Estonia.

Somewhat unusually, Kaljulaid was elected president only after other candidates could not be elected in three rounds of parliamentary voting and two rounds of voting by an electoral college consisting of members of Parliament and representatives of local governments of Estonia.

2016 in Estonia

Events in the year 2016 in Estonia.

2018 in Estonia

Events in the year 2018 in Estonia.

2019 in Estonia

Events of 2019 in Estonia.

Economic Group (Estonia)

The Economic Group (Estonian: Majandusline Rühm) was a political party in Estonia.

Georgi-Rene Maksimovski

Georgi-Rene Maksimovski (born 22 July 1966) is an Estonian public personality who is the current First Gentleman of Estonia, married to Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid since 2011. Born into a Seto family, he is the son of Nektari and Valve Maksimovski. He also has one sibling. From 1984–1991, he studied at Tallinn University of Technology. Beginning in 1993, he worked at the State Infocommunication Foundation, where he was employed for 16 years until 2009.In 2004, he began to date Kalijulaid, and in 2005, Maksimovski and her had their first son, having their second just four years later. They were officially married in 2011. Outside the Presidential Palace, Maksimovski owns an apartment in Lasnamäe. Little is known about his daily life, which leads some in the Estonian media to speculated that he is part of the domestic intelligence service.

Ieva Ilves

Ieva Ilves (née Kupce; born September 13, 1977) is a former diplomat and cyber security policy expert. Ilves is running as a Latvian candidate for the 2019 European Parliament election. She is the third place candidate for Development/For!, second on the list is Baiba Rubesa, the former CEO of Rail Baltica.She has worked as the head of unit for National Cyber Security Policy and Political Advisor to the State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence of Latvia. She is founding member of different non-governmental organizations institutions focusing on the issues of security, democracy, and human rights. In 2016 she served as First Lady of Estonia, until her husband Toomas Hendrik Ilves was succeeded by Kersti Kaljulaid in October 2016.

June 1933 Estonian constitutional referendum

A constitutional referendum was held in Estonia between 10 and 12 June 1933. The new constitution proposed by Parliament was rejected by 67.3% of voters, with a turnout of 66.5%.

Jüri Ratas' second cabinet

Jüri Ratas' second cabinet is the incumbent cabinet of Estonia, in office since 29 April 2019. It is a centre-right coalition cabinet of the Centre Party, far-right leaning Conservative People's Party and conservative Pro Patria.Following the defeat for the sitting Ratas' first cabinet at the 2019 elections and the loss of majority in the parliament Centre Party initiated coalition talks with the third largest Conservative People's Party and fourth largest Pro Patria. Although the election-winning Reform party offered to form a coalition with Jüri Ratas' Centre Party, Ratas turned down the offer. This left the winners of the elections, Reform Party, with no chance to form a majority cabinet. Leader of the Reform Party, Kaja Kallas, however went on to propose a minority cabinet formed by the Reform and Social Democrats, but it did not gain the necessary number of votes in the parliament. Coalition partners nonetheless faced three rebel MPs with Centre MP Raimond Kaljulaid quitting the Centre Party in protest against the inclusion of EKRE in the coalition.On 17 April 2019 the new cabinet got approval of Riigikogu with the support of 55 out of 101 MPs with one Pro Patria rebel MP and former Centre MP Kaljulaid voting against with the opposition.


Kaljulaid (pronounced [ˈkɑljulɑi̯t]) is an Estonian surname with the literal meaning of "cliff islet" (compound noun of kalju ("cliff", "rock") and laid ("islet", "holm").

Notable people with the surname include:

Kersti Kaljulaid (born 1969), Estonian politician

Raimond Kaljulaid (born 1982), Estonian politician

Kersti (name)

Kersti is mainly an Estonian feminine given name.

People named Kersti include:

Kersti Bergroth (1886–1975), Finnish author and playwright

Kersti Heinloo (born 1976), Estonian actress

Kersti Kaljulaid (born 1969), Estonian politician, fifth President of Estonia

Kersti Merilaas (1913–1986), Estonian poet and translator


Keskpäevatund ("The Midday Hour") is a weekly radio programme of political analysis which has been broadcast by Radio Kuku in Estonia since 16 May 1992.

It's hosted by anchorman Priit Hõbemägi with the companions Rein Kilk and Ainar Ruussaar. Sometimes the show is also visited by Meelis Atonen, Marek Strandberg, Hans H. Luik and other well-known opinion leaders.Previous commentators on the show include Kersti Kaljulaid, the current President of Estonia.

List of official overseas trips made by Kersti Kaljulaid

This is a list of official overseas trips made by Kersti Kaljulaid, the 5th President of Estonia. On many of her overseas visits, she has been accompanied by Georgi-Rene Maksimovski, who is her husband and concurrently the First Gentleman of Estonia.

National Liberal Party (Estonia)

The National Liberal Party (Estonian: Rahvuslik Vabameelne Partei, RVP) was a political party in Estonia.

President of Estonia

The President of the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariigi President) is the head of state of the Republic of Estonia. The current President is Kersti Kaljulaid, elected by Parliament on 3 October 2016, becoming the first woman and youngest person ever who holds the position.Estonia is a parliamentary republic in which the President is a ceremonial figurehead with no executive power. The President is obliged to suspend their membership in any political party for the term in office. Upon assuming office, the authority and duties of the President in all other elected or appointed offices terminate automatically. These measures should theoretically help the President to function in a more independent and impartial manner.

The President is elected by the Riigikogu or a special electoral body for a five-year term. The electoral body is convened in case no candidate secures a two-thirds supermajority in the Riigikogu after three rounds of balloting. The electoral body, which consists of all members of the Riigikogu and elected representatives of all local self-governments (at least one representative per each municipality, but not more than 10 representatives depending on the number of citizens with voting rights residing in the municipality), elects the president, choosing between the two candidates with the largest percentage of votes.

The President holds office for five years. They can be reelected any number of times, but not more than twice consecutively.

Spouse of the President of Estonia

The First Lady of Estonia or First Gentleman of Estonia is the unofficial title given to the wife or husband of the President of Estonia. Estonia's current First Gentleman is Georgi-Rene Maksimovski, husband of President Kersti Kaljulaid.

Tenants' Union

The Tenants' Union (Estonian: Üürnikkude Liit) was a political party in Estonia.

World Knowledge Forum

The World Knowledge Forum (WKF, 세계지식포럼) is a non-profit entity, which aims to promote balanced global growth and prosperity through knowledge-sharing. The World Knowledge Forum "brings together global leaders to address the importance of knowledge in meeting the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing world".The World Knowledge Forum was conceived as part of the Vision Korea Project, a campaign launched by Maeil Business Newspaper in 1997, to "propose new visions for development to Korea and to the global community". The first World Knowledge Forum, entitled ‘Shaping the New Millennium with Knowledge,’ took place in 2000, shortly after the Asian financial crisis.

Partnering with Nikkei and Bloomberg the Forum has now grown to encompass 1,053 sessions featuring over 4,028 speakers in total from all around the worlds.

In the 19th WKF, the speakers, Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2014-2018); Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia; Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director of International Trade Center (ITC); H. R. McMaster, The 26th White House National Security Council (NSC) Advisor of the Trump administration; Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia; Kenneth C. Frazier, CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.; John Kim, President of New York Life Insurance Company; Jane Jie Sun, CEO of Ctrip; Wang Zhenghua, President of Spring Airlines; and Eric Allison, Head of Uber Elevate were present to grace the occasion under the theme, "Collective Intelligence: Overcoming Global Pandemonium".

of the Council of Ministers
Prime Ministers
State Elders
Prime Minister
in Duties of the State Elder
Prime Ministers
in Duties of the President

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.