Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Toomas Hendrik Ilves (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈtoːmɑs ˈhendrik ˈilves]; born 26 December 1953) is an Estonian politician who served as the fourth President of Estonia from 2006 until 2016. Ilves worked as a diplomat and journalist, and he was the leader of the Social Democratic Party in the 1990s. He served in the government as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1996 to 1998 and again from 1999 to 2002. Later, he was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2006. He was elected as President of Estonia by an electoral college on 23 September 2006 and his term as President began on 9 October 2006. He was reelected by Parliament in 2011.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Toomas Hendrik Ilves 2011-12-19
4th President of Estonia
In office
9 October 2006 – 10 October 2016
Prime MinisterAndrus Ansip
Taavi Rõivas
Preceded byArnold Rüütel
Succeeded byKersti Kaljulaid
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
25 March 1999 – 28 January 2002
Prime MinisterMart Laar
Preceded byRaul Mälk
Succeeded byKristiina Ojuland
In office
November 1996 – October 1998
Prime MinisterTiit Vähi
Mart Siimann
Preceded bySiim Kallas
Succeeded byRaul Mälk
Personal details
Born26 December 1953 (age 65)
Stockholm, Sweden
Political partySocial Democratic Party (Before 2006)
Independent (2006–present)
Alma mater
Toomas Hendrik Ilves's signature

Early life and education

Ilves was born in Stockholm, Sweden; his parents Endel Ilves (1923–1991) and Irene Ilves (1927–2018[1]) fled Estonia after its occupation by the Soviet Union during World War II.[2] His maternal grandmother was a Russian from Saint Petersburg.[3][4] He grew up in the United States in Leonia, New Jersey, and graduated from Leonia High School in 1972 as valedictorian.[5] He received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Columbia University in 1976 and a master's degree in the same subject from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978.[6] He also received an honorary degree from St. Olaf College in 2014 in recognition of his relationship with the college.[7] In addition to his native Estonian, Ilves also speaks English, German, Latvian and Spanish.[8]


Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia (25502212355)
Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Ilves worked as a research assistant in Columbia University Department of Psychology from 1974 to 1979. From 1979 to 1981 he served as assistant director and English teacher at the Open Education Center in Englewood, New Jersey.[6] Ilves then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; from 1981 to 1983 he was director and administrator of arts in Vancouver Arts Centre and from 1983 to 1984 he taught Estonian literature and linguistics in Simon Fraser University.[6]

Ilves 01
Ilves during the MSC 2016

From 1984 to 1993, Ilves worked in Munich, Germany as a journalist for Radio Free Europe, being the head of its Estonian desk since 1988.[6] As Estonia had restored its independence in 1991, Ilves became Ambassador of Estonia to the United States in 1993,[9] also serving as Ambassador to Canada and Mexico at the same time.

In December 1996, Ilves became Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, serving until he resigned in September 1998, when he became a member of a small opposition party (Peasants' Party, agrarian-conservative). Ilves was soon elected chairman of the People's Party (reformed Peasants' Party), which formed an electoral cartel with the Moderates, a centrist party. After the March 1999 parliamentary election he became foreign minister again, serving until 2002, when the so-called Triple Alliance collapsed. He supported Estonian membership in the European Union and succeeded in starting the negotiations which led to Estonia joining the European Union on 1 May 2004. From 2001 to 2002 he was the leader of the People's Party Moderates. He resigned from the position after the party's defeat in the October 2002 municipal elections, in which the party received only 4.4% of the total votes nationwide. In early 2004, the Moderates party renamed itself the Estonian Social Democratic Party.

In 2003, Ilves became an observer member of the European Parliament and, on 1 May 2004, a full member. In the 2004 elections to the European Parliament, Ilves was elected MEP in a landslide victory for the Estonian Social Democratic Party. He sat with the Party of European Socialists group in the Parliament. Katrin Saks took over his MEP seat when Ilves became President of Estonia in 2006. In 2011, he was re-elected for a second five-year term.[10]

In 2013, it was announced that Ilves had accepted a position on the Council on CyberSecurity's Advisory Board.[11] In 2015, it was announced that Ilves had agreed to join the group of advisers to the World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.[12]

During his presidency, Ilves has been appointed to serve in several high positions in the field of ICT in the European Union. He served as chairman of the EU Task Force on eHealth from 2011 to 2012 and was chairman of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board at the invitation of the European Commission from 2012 to 2014. In 2013 he chaired the High-Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms convened by ICANN. From 2014 to 2015 Ilves was the co-chair of the advisory panel of the World Bank's World Development Report 2016 "Digital Dividends" and was also the chair of World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Cyber Security beginning in June 2014.

Starting in 2016, Ilves is co-chairing The World Economic Forum working group The Global Futures Council on Blockchain Technology. In 2017 he joined Stanford University as a Bernard and Susan Liautaud Visiting Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Starting from July 2017, Toomas Hendrik Ilves is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.[13]

He belongs to the advisory council of the Alliance for Securing Democracy.

Presidential elections

GW Bush, TH Ilves 2006-2
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and President George W. Bush, in Estonia 2006

Ilves was nominated by the Reform Party, Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica and his own Social Democratic Party on 23 March 2006, as a candidate for the 2006 presidential election.

On 29 August, Ilves was the only candidate in the second and the third round of the presidential election in Riigikogu, the Parliament of Estonia (he was supported by an electoral coalition consisting of the governing Reform Party plus the Social Democrats and the Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica which form the parliamentary opposition). Ilves gathered 64 votes out of 65 ballots. Therefore, one deputy of the three party alliance supporting Ilves did not vote in favour of his candidacy. A two-third majority in the 101-seat Riigikogu was required, so he was not elected in Riigikogu. His candidacy was automatically transferred to the next round in the Electors' Assembly on 23 September.

On 13 September 2006, a broad spectrum of 80 well-known intellectuals published a declaration in support of Ilves' candidacy. Among those who signed were Neeme Järvi, Jaan Kross, Arvo Pärt and Jaan Kaplinski.[14]

On 23 September 2006 he received 174 ballots in the first round of the presidential election in the Electors' Assembly, thus having been elected the next president of Estonia. His five-year term started on 9 October 2006.

Dmitry Medvedev in Khanty-Mansiysk 28 June 2008-3
Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Dmitry Medvedev in 2008

On 29 August 2011, he was reelected by the 101-seat legislature to a second five-year term. His opponent was Indrek Tarand. He received support from 73 members of the legislature, and is the first candidate to be elected in the first round since Estonia regained independence in 1991.[15]

Personal life

Ilves has been married three times. With his first wife, American psychologist Merry Bullock, he has two children: son Luukas Kristjan (b. 1987) and daughter Juulia Kristiine (b. 1992).[16] In 2004, Ilves married his longtime partner Evelin Int-Lambot with whom he has one daughter, Kadri Keiu (b. 2003).[17] Ilves' representatives announced on 17 April that Ilves and Evelin Ilves have divorced as of 30 April 2015. Their marriage lasted for 10.5 years and broke up after being distant from each other for a while.[18] In December 2015 it was announced that Ilves was engaged in mid-November to Ieva Kupče, the head of the Cybersecurity Division in the Defense Ministry of Latvia.[19] They married on 2 January 2016.[20] On 28 November 28, 2016 they announced the birth of their son Hans Hendrik Ilves.

Ilves has been noted for his enthusiasm for social media. He maintains a Twitter account, personally posting on a regular basis to comment on both current events and his own interests, usually in English.[21] He went viral after an American security analyst named Benjamin Budd mistakenly tried to explain Estonian security policy to the president of Estonia, then deleted his Twitter account on realizing his error.[22]

In public, Ilves almost exclusively wears bow ties. He says that this is because his late father used to do so.[23]

Ilves has a brother, Andres Ilves, formerly head of the Persian and Pashto World Service of the BBC. Until the early 2000s, Andres Ilves was head of the Afghanistan bureau of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty based in Prague, Czech Republic.


National honours

Toomas Hendrik Ilves 2012-05
Toomas Hendrik Ilves (2012)

Foreign honours

International awards and honorary degrees


  1. ^ "Eile suri Toomas Hendrik Ilvese ema" [Toomas Hendrik Ilves's mother had died yesterday] (in Estonian). Estonia: Postimees. 26 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  2. ^ "U.S.-Educated Diplomat Wins in Estonia". Associated Press. 23 September 2006. Retrieved 23 September 2006.
  3. ^ An Interview with Toomas Hendrik Ilves
  4. ^ Interview to the Russian daily "Nezavasimaya Gazeta" Archived 6 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Jackson, Herb. "From Estonia to Leonia" Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Record (Bergen County), April 23, 2008. Accessed March 30, 2011. Copy of article at the official website of the President of Estonia. "Leonia High School helped make the Baltic Sea nation of Estonia one of the most Internet-reliant in the world, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves says. How? By including Ilves, who grew up in Leonia, in an experimental four-year math program that featured computer programming."
  6. ^ a b c d "Toomas Hendrik Ilves". Columbia University. Archived from the original on 23 January 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ List of Estonian ambassadors to the United States , U.S. State Department website.
  10. ^ "Estonian President Ilves re-elected". CBS News. 29 August 2011.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Estonian president to become adviser to World Bank president". ERR. 27 January 2015.
  13. ^ "The Hoover Institution".
  14. ^ "80 kultuuritegelast hakkasid Ilvese usaldusmeesteks". Eesti Päevaleht. 13 September 2006. Retrieved 23 September 2006.
  15. ^ Ummelas, Ott. "Estonian Lawmakers Approve Second Term for President Ilves". Bloomberg. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  16. ^ Pauts, Katrin (21 February 2008). "Merry Bullock: olulisim pärand Toomaselt, peale laste, oli see, et ta tõi mind Eestisse". Õhtuleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  17. ^ Pauts, Katrin (13 October 2004). "Evelin Int-Lambot ja Toomas Hendrik Ilves abiellusid". Õhtuleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "President Ilves to wed this week". ERR. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  21. ^ Seddon, Max (23 September 2013). "The President Of Twitter". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  22. ^ "I was foreign minister of Estonia for 5 years and president for 10."
  23. ^ "Online intervjuu: Toomas Hendrik Ilves" (in Estonian). Eesti Päevaleht. 3 September 2002. Retrieved 23 September 2006.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Noblesse et Royautes" Archived 1 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine (French), State visit of Spain in Estonia, May 2009
  26. ^ Belga Pictures Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, State visit of Belgium in Estonia, 10–12 June 2008
  27. ^ "Det Norske Kongehuset" (Norwegian), List of awarded medals Retrieved 2015-05-20
  28. ^ "Biography on the official web page of the president". Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  29. ^ "Global Cybersecurity Day Program Honors Estonia Past President Toomas Ilves at Harvard Talks".
  30. ^ "The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Honorary Doctorates".
  31. ^ "St. Olaf College, Honorary Degrees".

External links

Diplomatic posts
New office Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Kalev Stoicescu
Political offices
Preceded by
Siim Kallas
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Raul Mälk
Preceded by
Raul Mälk
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Kristiina Ojuland
Preceded by
Arnold Rüütel
President of Estonia
Succeeded by
Kersti Kaljulaid
2004 European Parliament election in Estonia

The European Parliament election of 2004 in Estonia was the election of MEP representing Estonia constituency for the 2004-2009 term of the European Parliament. It was part of the wider 2004 European election. The vote took place on June 13.

The election was conducted using the D'Hondt method with open list. The voter turnout in Estonia was one of the lowest of all member countries at only 26.8%. A similar trend was visible in most of the new member states that joined the EU in 2004.

The biggest winner was the Social Democratic Party, due to the popularity of their leading candidate Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who received the vast majority of the party's votes. The governing Res Publica Party and People's Union polled poorly. Ilves went on to become President of Estonia in October 2006, leaving his MEP seat to Katrin Saks.

2006 Estonian presidential election

Estonian presidential elections, 2006 took place over four rounds, which were held on 28 and 29 August, and 23 September 2006. The first three rounds of the presidential election were held within the Riigikogu, which is Estonia's Parliament, as specified under electoral law. The two top candidates, Ene Ergma and Toomas Hendrik Ilves, were not elected because they did not obtain the required two-thirds of the votes in the Riigikogu.

As the Riigikogu was unable to make a decision within the first three rounds, it was required under Estonian electoral law to convene an Electoral Body to decide the presidency. It was convened on 23 September, and Toomas Hendrik Ilves emerged as the winner over the other candidate and incumbent president, Arnold Rüüte, after obtaining a majority of the votes in the Electoral Body.

2011 Estonian presidential election

An indirect presidential election took place in Estonia on August 29, 2011. There were two candidates: incumbent president Toomas Hendrik Ilves and European parliament deputy Indrek Tarand. For the first time in the country's post-Soviet history, only one round took place, as Ilves was able to secure the necessary two-thirds majority to get re-elected without a runoff. Ilves received 73 votes while Tarand obtained only 25. One vote was blank and two were disqualified. Ilves was supported by the ruling Estonian Reform Party and Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica, as well as the Social Democratic Party, to which he formerly belonged. Tarand was supported by the Estonian Centre Party.

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.

Allar Jõks

Allar Jõks (born 18 March 1965) is an Estonian lawyer and the former Chancellor of Justice. He was proposed to the office by President Lennart Meri and served between 2001 and 2008. He was proposed again by Toomas Hendrik Ilves in December 2007, but the Riigikogu voted against the appointment.

Chile–Estonia relations

Chile–Estonia relations are foreign relations between Chile and Estonia. Chile re-recognized Estonia on August 28, 1991 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on September 27, 1991. Chile is represented in Estonia through its ambassador who resides in Helsinki (Finland) and through an honorary consulate in Tallinn. Estonia is represented in Chile through an honorary consulate in Santiago. The current Chilean ambassador to Estonia, Carlos Parra Merino, officially presented his credentials to the Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in June 2007. Carlos Parra Merino resides in Helsinki.

Dermot Murnaghan

Dermot John Murnaghan (born 26 December 1957) is a British broadcaster. A presenter for Sky News, he was a news presenter at CNBC Europe, Independent Television News and BBC News. He has presented news programmes in a variety of time slots since joining Sky News in 2007.

He also presented the BBC quiz show Eggheads between 2003 and 2014 before Jeremy Vine took over full-time.

Evelin Ilves

Evelin Ilves (née Int, formerly Int-Lambot; born 20 April 1968 in Tallinn) is the second wife of President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves. She was the First Lady of Estonia from 9 October 2006 until their divorce on 30 April 2015.

She was president of the Estonian Rollerskating Federation from 2008 to 2014.

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.

Jeffrey D. Levine

Jeffrey D. Levine (born 1955) was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to be the United States Ambassador to Estonia on February 17, 2012 and was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 29, 2012. He presented his credentials to President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves on September 17, 2012. He left his post sometime in 2015.

List of Légion d'honneur recipients by name (I)

The following is a list of some notable Légion d'honneur recipients by name. The Légion d'honneur is the highest order of France. A complete, chronological list of the members of the Legion of Honour nominated from the very first ceremony in 1803 to now does not exist. The number is estimated at one million including about 3,000 Grand Cross.

List of ambassadors of Estonia to the United States

The Estonian ambassador in Washington, D. C. is the official representative of the Government in Tallinn to the Government of the United States.

Merry Bullock

Merry Bullock, is an American psychologist. She studied at Brown University for her BA and University of Pennsylvania for her PhD, both in psychology.She is currently senior director of the American Psychological Association's (APA's) Office of International Affairs. In that role, she coordinates APA's representation at the United Nations.Bullock served as Deputy Secretary-General of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS), as editor for IUPsyS's web portal Psychology Resources Around the World, and as associate editor for IUPsyS' International Journal of Psychology focusing on its International Platform.She was formerly married to Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, with whom she had two children: son Luukas Kristjan and daughter Juulia Kristiine.

Rasmussen Global

Rasmussen Global (RG) is a political consultancy firm, founded by Anders Fogh Rasmussen in 2014 following his term as NATO Secretary General. The aim of the company is to provide support on issues regarding security policy, Transatlantic relations, the European Union, Brexit and Economic development. Furthermore, in 2016 he published a book called The Will to Lead, giving his view that the United States should 'restore America's role as a global leader' .

On 27 May 2016 Anders Fogh Rasmussen became non-staff advisor to President Poroshenko of Ukraine. As a result, Rasmussen Global works to speed up the pace of reform in Ukraine while at the same time keeping Ukraine relevant internationally.. Anders Fogh Rasmussen has also put together a group of friends of Ukraine to help with the reform effort.

The company is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark and has offices in Brussels, Berlin, Washington, DC and London. Some of its senior advisors include former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, American retired diplomat and former NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, UK former senior diplomat Sir Nigel Sheinwald.

Raul Mälk

Raul Mälk (Born 14 May 1952 in Pärnu, Estonia) is an Estonian diplomat and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. He was also head of the Estonian delegation for border negotiations with Russia from 1992-2005. Up to 2007 he was Chairman of the Board of International Centre for Defence Studies in Estonia.

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.

St. John's Church (Saint Petersburg)

St. John's Church is a Protestant church in St. Petersburg, Russia. The church is situated at the address 54 ulitsa Dekabristov, close to the Mariinsky Theater. Founded in 1859 to serve the Estonian community living in the city at that time, it is considered Estonia's symbol of independence. It was the place where in 1888 Jakob Hurt made the call to resist the Tsarist government’s russification policy and on March 26, 1917, 40,000 Estonians began their march to Tauride Palace demanding national autonomy.

Closed in 1930 by the Soviet government, the belfry and portal was demolished and the building used for warehousing and workshops. The church underwent a $8.61 million renovation beginning in July 2009 and was reconsecrated on February 22, 2011 by the Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia Andres Põder with the Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in attendance.

As of 2014 St. John's Church belongs to Estonia.


THI is an abbreviation and can refer to:

Temperature-Humidity Index

Texas Heart Institute

Tim Hortons Inc.

Traffic Homicide Investigator

Toomas Hendrik Ilves (born 1953), Estonian politician, 4th President of Estonia

Tissue Harmonic Imaging, an advanced technique of ultrasonography.


Tiigrihüpe (Estonian for Tiger Leap) was a project undertaken by Republic of Estonia to heavily invest in development and expansion of computer and network infrastructure in Estonia, with a particular emphasis on education. The project was first proposed in 1996 by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, then ambassador of Estonia to United States and later President of Estonia, and Jaak Aaviksoo, then minister of Education. The project was announced by Lennart Meri, the President of Estonia, on 21 February 1996. Funds for the foundation of Tiigrihüpe were first allocated in national budget of 1997.

An important primary effect of the project was rollout of Internet access to all Estonian schools, which effectively ended UUCP usage in Estonia, combined with installing computer labs in most schools, and replacing those that already existed with IBM PC based parks. Due to an economic and technological lag effected on Estonia by the Soviet occupation, CP/M-based 8-bit computer systems were not yet a rare sight in Estonian schools in the middle of the 1990s.

After the cyberattacks on Estonia in 2007, Estonia combined network defence with its common military doctrine. Success of the process led to NATO creating the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn. This project has been nicknamed Tiger Defence (Estonian: Tiigrikaitse) by analogy with Tiigrihüpe.

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