Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar

Digital Society Institute Berlin

Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar is Director of the Digital Society Institute at the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin since January 2022. From 2018 to 2021, she served as Ambassador for Cyber Diplomacy and Director General for the Cyber Diplomacy Department at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she led the efforts to promote international law and cyber norms during the Estonian tenure at the United Nations Security Council. In 2012-2018, she was working as a Head of Cyber Policy Coordination at the European External Action Service where she coordinated EU external relations on cyber issues and co-led preparations of European Cyber Security Strategies since 2012. She set up EU strategic level cyber dialogues with the US, India, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, China as well as other international organizations. She also kicked off EU global cyber capacity building programs and steered the development of the EU Cyber Diplomacy Toolbox to bolster European response to malicious cyber activities. In 2011, she was assigned to the NATO International Staff to prepare the NATO Cyber Defense Policy.
She has been working on cyber and tech policies since 2007 when she led the development of the first whole-of-government Estonian Cyber Security Strategy. In 2008-2010 she coordinated the implementation of the strategy, managed the National Cyber Security Council, and led the establishment of national cyber resilience structures as well as public-private partnerships. She has held various managerial and academic positions at the Estonian Ministry of Defense and the Tallinn University since 1995. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the George Washington University and has published in several academic journals throughout her career.