After graduating from the United States Military Academy, LTG (ret), Ben Hodges was commissioned in the infantry. He served in various positions, his last military assignment being Commander in the United States Army Europe from 2014 to 2017. He previously held the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He is now a Senior Advisor to Human Rights First, a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization, serves as NATO Senior Mentor for Logistics and has co-authored the book Future War and the Defence of Europe, which was published by Oxford University Press.



Having trained and worked as a teacher since 2014, Ms Siemtje Möller has been a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany’s executive board in Lower Saxony and in 2017 she became a member of the German Parliament. Between January and December 2021 she held the role of defence Policy Spokeswoman of the SPD Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag and since December 2021 has worked as Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Minister of Defence.


Born in the United Kingdom to Latvian parents, Mr Jānis Kažociņš gained his education at both Sandhurst Royal Military Academy and the University of Nottingham. While serving in the British Armed Forces, he reached the rank of Brigadier General before moving to Latvia. Both in 2003 and 2008, Kažociņš was nominated by the Latvian Parliament as director of SAB, a Latvian intelligence and counter-intelligence service. He is currently working as National Security Adviser to the President of Latvia.

H.E. Mr George P. Kent was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia on December 21, 2022. Ambassador Kent presented his credentials to Estonian President Alar Karis on February 21, 2023. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, Ambassador Kent most recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the U.S. Department of State. Previously, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Kyiv, Ukraine. Prior to that, Ambassador Kent was the Senior Anti-Corruption Coordinator in the State Department’s European Bureau. He has also served as Director for Europe and Asia in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. 

Dr Konstantin von Eggert is an independent journalist and political analyst with over thirty years of experience. He has worked across the world as a Diplomatic Correspondent and between 1989 and 2009 held the position of Editor-in-Chief of the BBC Russian Service Moscow bureau. From 2016 to 2018 von Eggert was a program host and political commentator for TV Rain. He is now a Baltic States correspondent and weekly columnist on Russian affairs for Deutsche Welle. 


Since February 2018, Dr Kristi Raik has been Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Turku in Finland. She has previously been a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels and the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kyiv. She holds a PhD from the University of Turku. She has lectured and published extensively on European foreign and security policy.



Dr Stefano Braghiroli is an Associate Professor of European Studies at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu. He gained his PhD from the University of Siena. He has published extensively on topics ranging from European politics, party-based populism, Euroscepticism, and EU-Russia relations.

Dr Toms Rostoks is the Director of the Centre for Security and Strategic Research at the National Defence Academy of Latvia. He has written and published on deterrence, state intentions, Latvia’s foreign and security policy, Latvian-Russian relations, human security, and small states. He was awarded his PhD by the University of Latvia.


Dr Marc Ozawa is a Senior Researcher at the Research Division at NATO Defence College. He has previously held teaching and research positions at the University of Cambridge and Yale University. He has written extensively on Russia’s relations with its neighbours, energy security and European-Russian relations and is the editor of the book In Search of a Good Energy Policy, which was published by Cambridge University Press.

Since 2019, Mr James Sherr has been a Senior Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence & Security in Tallinn. He is also an associate fellow and former head of the Russia and Eurasia programme at Chatham House. He has previously held positions at the University of Oxford and at the Conflict Studies Research Centre of the UK Ministry of Defence. He was awarded an OBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List for his services to British interests overseas.

Since 2022, Mr Kaupo Rosin has been serving as Director General of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Estonia. He is the former Commander of Cyber Command and has served as the Deputy Director of the analysis unit of the Joint Intelligence and Security Division at NATO Headquarters. Before then, he served as Commander of the Military Intelligence Centre of the Estonian Defence Forces.

Having graduated with honours and as the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award winner from Central European University with a Master’s degree in International Relations and European Studies,  Ms Alena Kudzko worked at various NGOs and academic institutions in Belarus, Estonia and Hungary. She is now a Vice President for Policy and Programming at GLOBSEC think tank, where she oversees policy and research development in areas such as defence and security, the future of Europe, global order, technology and society, and the economy.


Having graduated from the University of Tartu with an MA in History, Mr Marko Mihkelson became the Editor-in-Chief of Postimees, and from 1994 to 1997, he was Postimees’s correspondent in Moscow. Following this, he was Director of the Baltic Centre for Russian Studies. He has been a member of the Estonian Parliament since 2003 and is currently Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament.


Following a successful career in international law, politics and human rights, H.E. Mr Maksym Kononenko was appointed Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Estonia in March 2021. He has also served as Ambassador of Ukraine to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of Ukraine to the French Republic in charge of political affairs. He has a Master’s degree in International Law from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Institute of International Relations and a University diploma in French and EU Business Law from the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris-II, Sorbonne).

Mr Hans H. Luik is a journalist, writer, theatre critic and media entrepreneur. Having studied journalism at the University of Tartu, he has held various prestigious posts in both the theatre and publishing industries. Since 1991, he has been the publisher responsible for Eesti Ekspress. He is also the founder of AS Ekspress Group. He has been awarded the title of Businessman of the Year and, in 2006, was awarded the White Star II class medal.

Mr Elie Tenenbaum is the Director of Ifri’s Security Studies Center. Having completed his PhD in History, he became a Visiting Fellow at Columbia University. He has also taught international security at Sciences Po and has taught at the University of Lorraine. His research interests include irregular warfare, hybrid warfare and terrorism, and he has published extensively. He has authored several books, including his most recent publication, The Twenty Years’ War: Jihadism and Counterterrorism in the XXIst Century, published in 2021.

Dr Matthias Schulze is a senior researcher and head of the research focus “International Cybersecurity” at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg. He has previously held the role of deputy head of the Security Research Group at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and the Principal Investigator in the European Repository of Cyber Incidents project. His research focuses on cyber warfare, cyber espionage and cyber intelligence. He is also the host of the podcast Perception, which explores the dark side of digitalisation.


Mr Gert Antsu currently serves as Estonia’s Special Envoy for Eastern Partnership. He has served in senior governmental positions for twenty years, previously holding positions as Ambassador of Estonia to Ukraine and to Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. He also previously held the position of Director of the Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership and, before that, was the Director of European Affairs.


Dr Kārlis Bukovskis is the Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs and an Assistant Professor at Riga Stradins University, where he also gained his PhD in International Politics. Previously, he held the position of Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. His research interests focus on the European Union and International Political Economy. He is also the co-founder and co-host of a weekly radio program, “Diplomatic Lunch”, on Latvian Radio 1.

Dr András Rácz is a senior research fellow at the Center for Order and Governance in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), previously working in its Security and Defense Program. Before this, he was a senior fellow of the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. His research focuses on Russian foreign and security policy and Russia’s relations with Central Europe and Belarus.

Dr Marcin Zaborowski holds the policy director position of the Future of Security Programme at GLOBSEC. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs and was a Senior Research Fellow at the European Union Institute for Security Studies. Having completed his PhD at the University of Birmingham, he has held positions at the University of Birmingham, Aston University, and Lazarski University in Warsaw. He has authored various books and is a member of the Advisory Council to the Foreign Relations and the European Affairs Committee at the Senate of the Polish Republic.

Dr Asta Maskaliūnaitė is the Director of the Department of Political and Strategic Studies at Baltic Defence College and editor-in-chief of the Journal on Baltic Security. Having gained her PhD at Central European University, she has published extensively on security studies, international relations theory and terrorism.


Dr Illimar Ploom was awarded his PhD in modern history from the University of Oxford and now holds the position of Associate Professor at the Estonian Military Academy. He also holds roles at Tallinn University of Technology, the University of Tartu and previously at the Estonian National Defence College. His main research areas are political theory, European Union studies, resilience and comprehensive defence approaches and EU-Russia relations.

H.E. Mr Emmanuel Mignot is currently serving as Ambassador of France to the Republic of Estonia. He previously served as Diplomatic Advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and held the position of Deputy Permanent Representative to NATO, coordinating the French representation.


Mr Kaupo Känd is an Estonian diplomat currently working at the International Criminal Court in the Georgia field office. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Warwick and is the former head of the Analytical Reporting and Outreach Department EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia. He worked as a senior advisor at OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Before this, he was
a Political Adviser to the EU Special Representatives.

Mr Mark Voyger is a non-resident Senior Fellow with the Transatlantic Defense and Security Program at the Center for European Analysis. Before this, he held the role of Senior Lecturer in Russian and Eastern European Studies at the Baltic Defense College. Previously, he served as Special Advisor for Russian and Eurasian Affairs to the Commanding General of US Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany and as the Cultural Advisor and Senior Russia Expert at NATO’s Allied Land Command in Izmir, Turkey.

Dr Leonid Karabeshkin is a political scientist who previously held the position of Acting Dean at Euroakadeemia. He previously worked as a Project Coordinator at The Centre for International and Regional Studies in St. Petersburg. He has published extensively on Baltic-Russia relations, Foreign Policy and European Politics.

Dr Merilin Kiviorg is an Associate Professor in International Law at the University of Tartu, having completed her studies at the University of Tartu and the University of Oxford. She has held multiple prestigious roles, such as Member of the Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief at OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute.


Ambassador Shota Gvineria is a Lecturer at Baltic Defence College and a Senior Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Center. He previously held the role of Foreign Policy Advisor to the Minister of Defense of Georgia and Director of the European Affairs Department at MFA of Georgia. He has served as Ambassador of Georgia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Having graduated from Vilnius University with a Master’s in Political Sciences and Government,  Ms Indrė Makaraitytė has built a prominent career as a journalist, previously as editor of the political weekly and now as a senior journalist at LRT, focusing on investigative journalism.


Since April 2023, Mr Hanno Pevkur has held the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Estonia position. After graduating from Tallinn School of Economics and Tartu University, he originally worked as a lawyer before becoming deputy mayor of Tallinn, in 2005. He has since held various senior government positions, such as the Minister of the Interior and Minister of Justice.

Mr Žilvinas Tomkus currently serves as vice-minister of National Defence for the Republic of Lithuania. He has served in various positions within the Ministry of National Defence, including Deputy Director of Defence Policy and Planning Department and Director of International Relations and Operations Department. In addition to this, he has worked as Defence Adviser to the Permanent Lithuanian Delegation to NATO.

Mr Olevs Nikers is Advisor to the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia on Comprehensive Defence and State Defence Service, President of the Baltic Security Foundation and Senior Analyst at The Jamestown Foundation. Mr Nikers has led the Baltic Security Strategy Project (2017 – 2019), supported by the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation and The Jamestown Foundation, and the Baltic Sea Security Initiative (2019 – 2021). Mr Nikers is the author, co-author and editor of a series of regional security and international relations publications. Mr Nikers is an international relations graduate from The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. In 2023, he received the Fulbright Scholar award – hosted as a resident fellow by the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, USA. As a PhD candidate at the Riga Stradiņš University, Mr Nikers studies regional security politics, Transatlantic security and bureaucratic politics. From September 11, 2001, to 2019, Mr Nikers worked as chief expert at the Ministry of Defence of Latvia.

Dr Zdzislaw Sliwa is the Dean here at the Baltic Defence College. He holds a PhD in Military Science from the National Defence University in Warsaw. He completed his education in Poland and abroad in the United States and Beijing, China. While serving, he commanded units up to the battalion level. Also, he served at the operational level as the Chief of Operational Branch J3 in the KFOR Headquarters in Pristina, Kosovo. He has published extensively on issues of defence and security.