International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS)

ICDS (Estonia)

The ICDS is an independent security, defence and foreign policy think-tank established in 2006. It conducts analysis that supports national security, defence and foreign policymaking in Estonia as well as raises public awareness of various international issues relevant to Estonia and its allies and partners. The Centre also seeks to contribute to strategic thinking in NATO, the EU and other multilateral fora on security challenges that affect the Nordic-Baltic region.

The Centre annually hosts two major international conferences—Lennart Meri Conference ( and Annual Baltic Conference on Defence ( )—and organises, twice a year, the Estonian National Defence Course (  To promote public debate on security and foreign policy issues, ICDS also publishes a monthly foreign affairs magazine Diplomaatia ( and conducts various public outreach activities in Estonia and abroad.

Contact information

International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS)
63/4 Narva Rd., Tallinn 10120, Estonia

Point of contact :
Tomas Jermalavičius
Head of Studies & Research Fellow
Ph.: +372 6949 334

Tel.: +372 6949 340

The team

Contacts Resume Speciality
Tõnis Idarand
Research Fellow
Tõnis Idarand joined the ICDS in September 2020 as a research fellow. Previously, Tõnis has worked at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1993, dealing mainly with political and security policy issues. He has also served at the Estonian Embassies in the Netherlands and Finland. From 2003-06 he was the Estonian Representative to the Political and Security Committee of  the EU.
  • Arms control, non-proliferation & disarmament
  • Western Balkans
  • India scenarios
Martin Hurt
Research Fellow
Martin Hurt, a former Estonian Ministry of Defence official, is a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) in Tallinn, Estonia since September 2019.

His areas of research include developments in NATO and the EU, as well as national security and defence related topics in the Nordic-Baltic region.

He has worked as Defence Counsellor to the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Estonia to NATO (2016-2019), at ICDS as a Research Fellow and Deputy Director (2010-2016) and at the Estonian Ministry of Defence on various positions: as Undersecretary for Defence Investments/National Armaments Director (2005-2010), as Undersecretary for Defence Planning (2004-2005) and (Deputy) Director of the Defence Policy and Planning Department (2002-2004). From 1998 to 2000 he served as an adviser of the Swedish Armed Forces to the Republic of Estonia; first in the Ministry of Defence, Defence Policy and Planning Department, and later in the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces, J5/8. From 1995 to 1998 he worked in the Headquarters of the Swedish Armed Forces Land Forces directorate as a desk officer with budgeting and financial reporting.

Martin Hurt holds an M.A. in Social Sciences from the Estonian Business School and a BBA from Stockholm University.

  • NATO
  • Defence and force planning
  • Defence acquisition
  • Nordic defence development
Tomas Jermalavicius
Head of Studies
Tel: +372 6949 340
Fax: +372 6949 342
Tomas Jermalavicius focuses on the issues pertaining to the utility and uses of military power, strategic foresight, defence research and technology (R&T) as well as defence policies of the Baltic states.

Prior to joining ICDS, Tomas worked at the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL), first as deputy director of the College’s Institute of Defence Studies in 2001-2004, and later as dean of the college in 2005-2008. He was also involved in the post-graduate military diplomacy programme at the Lithuanian Military Academy. In 1998-2001 and in 2005, Tomas worked at the Defence Policy and Planning Department of the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence. From 1998 -1999, he was a research fellow at the Swedish National Defence Establishment (FOA, now FOI).
Tomas holds a BA in political science from the University of Vilnius, an MA in war studies from King’s College London and an MBA degree from the University of Liverpool.

  • Defence R&D
  • Defence industry
  • Baltic security and defence cooperation
  • Strategic security scenarios
Ivo Juurvee
Head of Security and Resilience Programme
Dr. Ivo Juurvee has been a practitioner in the field of security for more than 13 years. Amongst other positions in Estonian public service, he has been an adviser at the National Security and Defence Coordination Unit of the Estonian Government Office. Prior to joining ICDS he worked as the head of the Internal Security Institute of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (EASS).

Ivo has also taught security related topics at the University of Tartu, the NATO School at Oberammergau and on the FRONTEX master’s programme on border management. He has worked as an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Ivo’s professional and academic areas of interest have been information warfare and the intelligence services. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Tartu (2013) for his thesis on INFOSEC in prewar Estonia and an MA from the Central European University, Budapest (2003). Ivo is an accomplished academic and his publications have won several awards.

As part of the ICDS team, Ivo focuses on security and resilience, i.e. the countermeasures applicable to the wide variety of threats to Estonia and more widely to NATO and the EU. These include: intelligence/counterintelligence, terrorism/counterterrorism, information warfare/psychological defence, and other means of non-conventional foreign pressure and the national resilience required to cope with them.

  • NATO and EU Policy
  • Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • National Resilience
Frank Jüris
Junior Research Fellow
Frank joined the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute as a Junior Researcher in May 2019. His research is focused on China’s domestic and foreign policy, EU-China relations, China’s relations with the Central and Eastern European countries in the 16+1 format, Sino-Russian relations.

Frank holds BA from Tallinn University and MA from the University of Tartu. During his master studies, he spent a semester in Hong Kong Baptist University and a year in Shanghai University in China. Frank holds also a MA in Asia-Pacific Studies from Taiwan National Chengchi University. Frank has gained valuable experiences at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Delegation of the European Union to Taiwan and as NGO Mondo volunteer in Burma. He has worked as Mandarin Chinese lecturer at University of Tartu and Chinese studies visiting lecturer at Tallinn University.

  • China
Piret Kuusik
Junior Research Fellow
Piret joined Estonian Foreign Policy Institute as a Junior Researcher in March 2018. Her research focuses on EU’s foreign and security policy, German-Franco relationship and Baltic Sea region’s role in Europe and the world.

Piret holds a BA in Politics with International Relations from the University of York, the UK, and an MA in International Security from Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), Sciences Po Paris. During her master studies, she spent a semester at Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University in Washington D.C. Next to her studies, she has gathered experiences at European Parliament, Estonian Embassy in Tel Aviv, Estonian Ministry of Defence, Raleigh International Tanzania and Atelier Europe in Paris.

  • European foreign and security policy
  • Franco-German relations
  • Nordic-Baltic security
Tony Lawrence
Head of Defence Policy & Strategy Programme / Research Fellow
Tel: +372 6949 340
Fax: +372 6949 342
Tony Lawrence is a research fellow at the International Centre for Defence and Security, where he focuses on issues of defence policy and strategy. He worked at ICDS from its establishment in 2006 until 2013, returning to the Centre in 2016 after a career break. His major projects have included chairing a multidisciplinary study of options for the future of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, conducting an exploration of Estonia’s force structure needs, leading a study evaluating alternatives for organising strategic-level defence institutions in Estonia, and directing the 2013 Annual Baltic Conference on Defence

Between 2005 and 2013, Tony was also an Assistant Professor at the Baltic Defence College, responsible for the design and delivery of around 50% of the annual Higher Command Studies Course. Tony spent the first half of his career as a civil servant in the UK Ministry of Defence, including appointments in scientific research and procurement, and policy positions dealing with NATO issues, operational policy in the Balkans, the European Union’s security and defence dimension – now CSDP – and ballistic missile defence.

Tony hold a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, a master’s Degree in Defence Systems Engineering, and is a graduate of the annual International Training Course at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

  • Defence and force planning
Ramon Loik
Research Fellow
Ramon Loik is a former Advisor to Estonian Minister of the Interior (2017–18). He also worked as Advisor to Estonian Minister of Defense (2002–3) and served as Vice–Rector of Estonian Academy of Security Studies (2010–15). He lectures and supervises at University of Tartu (Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies), at Estonian Academy of Security Studies (Internal Security Institute) and at Tallinn University of Technology (School of Business and Governance). His main academic field of research covers security policy and integration in European Union, especially transnational internal security and law enforcement cooperation domain.

More detailed Curriculum Vitae and academic overview is available on Estonian Research Information Portal:

  • Transnational threats and internal security
  • Critical infrastructure protection
  • Crisis preparedness
Kristi Raik
Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute
Dr Kristi Raik is the Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security since 1 February 2018. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Turku.

Kristi has previously served inter alia as a Senior Research Fellow and Acting Programme Director at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki; an official at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union in Brussels; and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels and the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kyiv. Kristi has a PhD from the University of Turku. She has published, lectured and commented widely on European foreign and security policy.

  • European foreign and security policy
Kalev Stoicescu
Research Fellow
Kalev Stoicescu, a former Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence official, took a position as a researcher at the International Centre for Defence and Security on 11 August 2014.

Among other fields, Stoicescu will specialize in issues related to Russian foreign and domestic policy, as well as developments in the field of the military, the economy, the media and minorities affairs.

Stoicescu served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1991-2000, including as ambassador to the OSCE and ambassador to US and Canada. He was a member of the Estonian delegation in border negotiations with Russia and Latvia.

He worked for the Ministry of Defence from 2002-2014, first as civilian-military cooperation department head and then, from 2007, as counsellor on defence policy at the Estonian Embassy in Paris.

  • Russia
  • French foreign, security and defence policy
  • Deterrence
James Sherr OBE
Senior Research Fellow
James Sherr is Senior Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme of Chatham House, a Senior Associate Fellow of the Institute of Statecraft, a Visiting Fellow of the Razumkov Centre (Kyiv) and a former Bosch Public Policy Fellow of the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund in Washington.

James is the author of Hard Diplomacy and Soft Coercion:  Russia’s Influence Abroad (Chatham House, 2013) and a wide range of other publications on Russia, Ukraine and European security. Latterly, he has published The Militarization of Russian Policy (Transatlantic Academy, July 2017) and is a co-author of the Chatham House Report, The Struggle for Ukraine (October 2017).

For over 25 years, he has been regularly consulted by Western governments on the foreign, defence and security policies of the Russian Federation and since 1995 has had an active advisory role in Ukraine, working closely with the defence and security establishment. Since 1991, James has been a frequent visitor to Estonia and its Baltic neighbours before taking up residence in January 2019.

  • Russia
  • Ukraine
Dmitri Teperik
Chief Executive
Dmitri Teperik joined the ICDS on 1 August 2015 as a research fellow on strategic communication. Starting from 11 January 2016, he was appointed by the Supervisory Board as Chief Executive of the International Centre for Defence and Security.

From 2007-2015, Dmitri worked at the Estonian Ministry of Defence, where he was in charge of the field of defence-related research, industry and development, serving as Estonian national coordinator at the NATO Science and Technology Organization and promoting Estonia’s role in security-related cooperation projects at the European Commission and the European Defence Agency (EDA).

Dmitri led the launch of a security-related development programme aimed at young ethnic Russians in Estonia, called Sinu Riigi Kaitse (Defence of Your Country), the main purpose being to strengthen social cohesiveness by promoting the development of Estonian national identity among young Russian-speakers. Later, he took charge of establishing and conducting research activities, studies and projects at the National Centre for Defence & Security Awareness.

Dmitri holds a MS degree from the University of Tartu, has completed various internships abroad, including Vilnius University and NATO HQ, and has taken part in various professional training courses on security in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, the US and Canada as well as NATO and EU.

Currently, Dmitri is leading international research projects and outreach activities on informational and psychological resilience as well as investigates population’s receptiveness towards hostile ideologies, harmful influence and toxic propaganda from the standpoint of comprehensive national defence. Among the key topics, he studies contributing factors to national resilience, situational awareness in informational environment and role of social media as well as interdependencies between communication and behaviour. His main focus areas include the Baltic states, Ukraine and some Eastern European countries.

  • Informational and Psychological resilience
  • Role of social media
  • Baltic states and Eastern Europe