The International Centre for Defence Studies (ICDS) is an independent think tank, devoted to the analysis of security and defence policy questions. ICDS was founded in March 2006.
The Centre’s roles are to analyse global developments in the security and defence field, and to examine narrower topics that are of special interest to Estonia. Our independent expertise should both help the state’s institutions develop more effective policies, and raise the general public’s awareness of issues that influence Estonia’s security and defence.
ICDS also aims to promote and strengthen foreign policy discussion in Estonia by organising seminars in which Estonian and international foreign policy experts can meet to debate the hot topics of the day. The Centre also organises the annual Lennart Meri Conference (http://lmc.icds.ee ), which focuses on European security.
The Centre issues a foreign policy monthly “Diplomaatia” (www.diplomaatia.ee) and foreign and security policy articles written by the Centre’s researchers are published regularly in the Estonian media.
Tomas Jermalavicius - Head of Studies
Tomas Jermalavicius focuses on the issues pertaining to the utility and uses of military power, strategic foresight, defence research and technology (R&T) as well as defence policies of the Baltic states.
Prior to joining ICDS, Tomas worked at the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL), first as deputy director of the College’s Institute of Defence Studies in 2001-2004, and later as dean of the college in 2005-2008. He was also involved in the post-graduate military diplomacy programme at the Lithuanian Military Academy. In 1998-2001 and in 2005, Tomas worked at the Defence Policy and Planning Department of the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence. From 1998 -1999, he was a research fellow at the Swedish National Defence Establishment (FOA, now FOI).
Tomas holds a BA in political science from the University of Vilnius, an MA in war studies from King’s College London and an MBA degree from the University of Liverpool.
Ivo Juurvee - Head of Security and Resilience Programme
Dr. Ivo Juurvee has been a practitioner in the field of security for more than 13 years. Amongst other positions in Estonian public service, he has been an adviser at the National Security and Defence Coordination Unit of the Estonian Government Office. Prior to joining ICDS he worked as the head of the Internal Security Institute of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (EASS).
Ivo has also taught security related topics at the University of Tartu, the NATO School at Oberammergau and on the FRONTEX master’s programme on border management. He has worked as an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Ivo’s professional and academic areas of interest have been information warfare and the intelligence services. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Tartu (2013) for his thesis on INFOSEC in prewar Estonia and an MA from the Central European University, Budapest (2003). Ivo is an accomplished academic and his publications have won several awards.
As part of the ICDS team, Ivo focuses on security and resilience, i.e. the countermeasures applicable to the wide variety of threats to Estonia and more widely to NATO and the EU. These include: intelligence/counterintelligence, terrorism/counterterrorism, information warfare/psychological defence, and other means of non-conventional foreign pressure and the national resilience required to cope with them.
Riina Kaljurand - Deputy Director
Riina Kaljurand is the Deputy Director of the International Centre for Defence Studies and co-ordinates a co-operative project with the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI).
Riina holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Stockholm and has also studied social anthropology at Stockholm University and the Queen’s University of Belfast.
Riina worked at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1993-1997, including tours in the Embassies in Oslo and Stockholm. In 2002, she was briefly employed as a research assistant by the University of Stockholm. From 2003-2004 she worked in Kyiv within the framework of the „Public Administration Reform” project run by SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency).
From 2004-2007 she worked at the Estonian Ministry of Defence, including two and a half years as an Assistant to the Permanent Undersecretary.
Tony Lawrence - Head of Defence Policy & Strategy Programme / Research Fellow
Tony Lawrence is a research fellow at the International Centre for Defence and Security, where he focuses on issues of defence policy and strategy. He worked at ICDS from its establishment in 2006 until 2013, returning to the Centre in 2016 after a career break. His major projects have included chairing a multidisciplinary study of options for the future of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, conducting an exploration of Estonia’s force structure needs, leading a study evaluating alternatives for organising strategic-level defence institutions in Estonia, and directing the 2013 Annual Baltic Conference on Defence
Between 2005 and 2013, Tony was also an Assistant Professor at the Baltic Defence College, responsible for the design and delivery of around 50% of the annual Higher Command Studies Course. Tony spent the first half of his career as a civil servant in the UK Ministry of Defence, including appointments in scientific research and procurement, and policy positions dealing with NATO issues, operational policy in the Balkans, the European Union’s security and defence dimension – now CSDP – and ballistic missile defence.
Tony hold a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, a master’s Degree in Defence Systems Engineering, and is a graduate of the annual International Training Course at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
Kristi Raik - Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute
Dr Kristi Raik is the Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security since 1 February 2018. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Turku.
Kristi has previously served inter alia as a Senior Research Fellow and Acting Programme Director at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki; an official at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union in Brussels; and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels and the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kyiv. Kristi has a PhD from the University of Turku. She has published, lectured and commented widely on European foreign and security policy.
Sven Sakkov - Director
Sven Sakkov joined ICDS on September 1st 2017.
For the past two year he was the director of NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, an international knowledge hub specialising in research, training and exercises in the areas of technology, strategy, operations and law. As the director of CCDCOE Sven Sakkov led an international staff from 20 countries and various specialities.
Between 2008 and 2015 Sakkov served as an undersecretary for defence policy (policy director) of the Ministry of Defence of Estonia. During his tenure as a policy director Sven Sakkov was responsible for policy planning, threat assessments, NATO and EU policy, international cooperation and arms control. He was an Estonian representative to the NATO’s Senior Officials’ Group.
Previously he had served at the Estonian Embassy in Washington and Estonian Mission to NATO, as national security and defence advisor to the President of Estonia and as the director of Policy Planning of MOD.
Sven Sakkov has studied at the University of Cambridge (M.Phil. in international relations), University of Tartu (B.A. cum laude in history) and Royal College of Defence Studies (course of 2011-12).
Dmitri Teperik - Chief Executive
Dmitri Teperik joined the ICDS on 1 August 2015 as a research fellow on strategic communication. Starting from 11 January 2016, he was appointed by the Supervisory Board as Chief Executive of the International Centre for Defence and Security.
From 2007-2015, Dmitri worked at the Estonian Ministry of Defence, where he was in charge of the field of defence-related research, industry and development, serving as Estonian national coordinator at the NATO Science and Technology Organization and promoting Estonia’s role in security-related cooperation projects at the European Commission and the European Defence Agency (EDA).
Dmitri led the launch of a security-related development programme aimed at young ethnic Russians in Estonia, called Sinu Riigi Kaitse (Defence of Your Country), the main purpose being to strengthen social cohesiveness by promoting the development of Estonian national identity among young Russian-speakers. Later, he took charge of establishing and conducting research activities, studies and projects at the National Centre for Defence & Security Awareness.
Dmitri holds a MS degree from the University of Tartu, has completed various internships abroad, including Vilnius University and NATO HQ, and has taken part in various professional training courses on security in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, the US and Canada as well as NATO and EU.
Currently, Dmitri is leading international research projects and outreach activities on informational and psychological resilience as well as investigates population’s receptiveness towards hostile ideologies, harmful influence and toxic propaganda from the standpoint of comprehensive national defence. Among the key topics, he studies contributing factors to national resilience, situational awareness in informational environment and role of social media as well as interdependencies between communication and behaviour. His main focus areas include the Baltic states, Ukraine and some Eastern European countries.