Estonian Juhan Lepassaar to become the EU’s new cybersecurity boss

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) selected Estonian Juhan Lepassaar to be its new executive director.

Lepassaar, currently in charge of the cabinet for the outgoing Estonian EU commissioner, Andrus Ansip, was selected on 16 July by the ENISA management board. Prior to being formally appointed, Lepassaar shall be invited to make a statement before the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament, scheduled to take place on 23 July.

ENISA, based in Athens, Greece, was set up in 2004 and is actively contributing to European cybersecurity policy. The agency helps EU member states support a response to large-scale cyber incidents that take place across the union’s borders. This work also contributes to the proper functioning of the digital single market of the EU. The agency delivers advice and solutions as well as improving the capabilities.

A long EU-related career

Lepassaar started his career by working at the Estonian government office in 2000, dealing with the country’s EU policy in different roles. He later became an EU adviser to the country’s prime minister and was the director for EU affairs at the Estonian government office.

In 2013, Lepassaar joined the European Commission as a member of cabinet for Siim Kallas, a former Estonian prime minister, who at the time was the EU commissioner for transport. Subsequently, he became the head of cabinet for Andrus Ansip, the Estonian EU commissioner who was responsible for the digital single market.

Lepassaar studied interior design, architecture and political science and has a master’s degree from the University of Sussex in contemporary European politics.

Cover: Juhan Lepassaar, courtesy of the European Commission.