Estonian cyber expert Merle Maigre awarded the French National Order of Merit

The Estonian cyber security expert, Merle Maigre, has been awarded the French National Order of Merit by the government of France.

The award was presented to Maigre, currently working as a senior cyber security expert at the Estonian e-Governance Academy, by the French ambassador to Estonia, Éric Lamouroux.

“The National Order of Merit is the acknowledgement of the French government to Merle Maigre’s contribution to cybersecurity knowledge sharing and collaboration between Estonia and France,” the e-Governance Academy, a non-profit think tank, said in a statement.

The Estonian cyber security expert, Merle Maigre, has been awarded the French National Order of Merit by the government of France. The award was presented to Maigre by the French ambassador to Estonia, Éric Lamouroux. Photo by the e-Governance Academy.

By the National Order of Merit, the government of France rewards distinguished military or civilian merits that are conducted for the French nation.

A great achievement starts with human contact and humour

“No country is an island. We live in difficult times and if the last few years has taught me one thing, then it is that in cyber, you cannot do it alone,” Maigre said in her note of thanks, according to the academy.

“I have had the privilege to meet with truly great French cyber figures – Admiral Coustilliere; Major General Olivier Bonnet de Paillerets; two former French cyber defence commanders. It was them and the president of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who have mostly guided me in building cooperation between Estonia and France and in understanding that any great achievement starts with small steps, human contact and preferably some humour,” she said.

Merle Maigre delivering a TED talk. Photo by Sten Roosvald.

Before assuming her current post at the e-Governance Academy, Maigre served as the director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn and from 2012 to 2017, as the security policy adviser to two successive Estonian presidents, Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Kersti Kaljulaid.

From 2010-2012, Maigre worked at NATO headquarters in the policy planning unit of the private office of NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Cover: Merle Maigre previously served as the director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn. Photo by CCDCOE.

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