Toomas Hendrik Ilves receives the World Leader in Cybersecurity Award 

The former Estonian president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, is being honoured by the Boston Global Forum for his leadership that resulted in Estonia becoming a vital member of the world community.

Ilves is to receive the World Leader in Cybersecurity Award at Harvard University on 12 December. The award is presented by the Boston Global Forum, a think tank with ties to the Harvard faculty, business leaders and journalists.

The forum said Ilves was awarded for his nation’s achievements in developing cyber-defence strategies for all nations, and for establishing Estonia’s pre-eminence as a world leader in cyberspace technology, defence and safe access.

The former Estonian president is also being honoured for his leadership that resulted in Estonia becoming a vital member of the world community and for his speeches before the United Nations where he fostered understanding of the risk of climate change, the need for safety of the Internet, and the plight of migrants and refugees – especially children.

A leader in cybersecurity

“We believe we are kindred spirits in our pursuit of a world in which we share in the concern for our fellow citizens worldwide,” Michael Dukakis, the chairman of the Boston Global Forum and the former Massachusetts governor, said in a statement. “I also believe the Boston Global Forum and the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation can play a vital role in helping President Ilves continue to communicate his message and inspire others by participating with leading thinkers and scholars from Harvard and MIT who share his vision for a clean, safe and transparent Internet,” he added.

During Ilves’s tenure as the Estonian president, the country became one of the world leaders in cybersecurity-related knowledge. Estonia ranks highest in Europe and fifth in the world in cybersecurity, according to the 2017 cybersecurity index, compiled by the International Telecommunication Union. The country also hosts the headquarters of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.


Cover: Toomas Hendrik Ilves (image by Herkki-Erich Merila).

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and Politics & Society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter. You can write to Silver at