From 2012 to 2014, at the invitation of the European Commission, he was Chairman of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board. From 2014 to 2015 president Ilves was the co-chair of the advisory panel of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2016 “Digital Dividends” and from June 2014-to May 2016, the chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Cyber Security.
In the 1990s, he was one of the initiators of the Tiger Leap initiative to computerise and connect all Estonian schools online.
In recent years, president Ilves has spoken and written extensively about integration, trans-atlantic relations, e-government, cyber security and other related topics.
Ilves worked as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2006. He served in the government as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1996 to 1998 and again from 1999 to 2002. He was the leader of the Social Democratic Party in the 1990s. Previously, he worked as a diplomat and journalist.
In 2016 he received the Digital Freedom Award in recognition for fostering digital freedom and raising awareness of the opportunities and challenges the digital revolution can bring.
In 2017 Ilves was awarded Reinhard Mohn Prize for his pioneering work in promoting digitalization in government, education and public services.
He acquired his education in the United States – he graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1976 and received his Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978.