Kristjan Vassil, Chairman of the Council

Kristjan Vassil has defended a PhD in Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Firenze and his MA in Communication Studies in the University of Tartu. He is Associate Professor of Technology Research since 2016 and his research group focuses on qualitative assessment of the impact of IT, analysis of Big Data in e-Government and prototyping of predictive digital services. Vassil is Vice Rector for Research at the University of Tartu since 2017 and has been a member of the Tartu University Hospital since the same time.
Kristjan Vassil was appointed by the Council of Tartu University Hospital to lead the working group for structural reforms of the Tartu University Hospital in 2020.

Urmas Klaas, Member of the Council

Urmas Klaas has been the Mayor of Tartu since April 2014.
Urmas Klaas has been Chairman of Cultural Affairs Committee of the 12th Riigikogu and Chairman of Economic Affairs Committee of the 11th Riigikogu.
He has also been Põlva County Governor, Head of Information Department in the Ministry of Education and Research, editor in the newspaper Postimees and Assistant Lecturer in the University of Tartu.

Eero Vasar, Member of the Council

Eero Vasar has defended a PhD in medicine at the University of Tartu.
He is Head of Office of the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine at the University of Tartu. He has worked at the University of Tartu as Professor of Physiology, Head of Department of Physiology and Head of the Laboratory of Psychopharmacology.
Eero Vasar is member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.

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Kaspar Kokk, Member of the Council

Kaspar Kokk graduated from Miina Härma High School in 2001. In the same year, he entered the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu. In the years 2006–2011, Kaspar Kokk was a member of the Estonian national cross-country skiing team, participating twice in the Olympic Games and four times in the World Championships.

After the end of his sports career, Kaspar Kokk has been active in business, politics and social activities. He has, among other things, been a member of the board of the Estonian Skiing Association, the council of SA Pärnu Hospital and the council of RMK. Kokk is a member of the board of the Isamaa political party and the chairman of the Tartu region. In the fall of 2022, he was elected chairman of the Tartu City Council.

Heljo Pikhof, Member of the Council

Heljo Pikhof has graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu. She is member of Social Democratic Party Faction in the Parliament of Estonia and member of Legal Affairs Committee and the Study Committee to Solve the Demographic Crisis.

Merike Saks, Member of the Council

Merike Saks has graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Tartu. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Tartu and a Master’s degree in management of digital transformation at Tallinn University of Technology. Merike Saks has worked as the chairman of Elron, as the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, as the Director of Services at the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and as the Managing director of the Estonian Centre for Standardisation and Accreditation. Since April 2021 Merike Saks is the Secretary-General of the Estonian Ministry of Finance.

Maarjo Mändmaa, Member of the Council

Maarjo Mändmaa graduated cum laude from the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, studying criminology. He has also studied public administration at the University of Tartu and got his master’s degree in administrative management from the Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech).

Maarjo Mändmaa is Secretary General of Ministry of Social Affairs since August 2021.

Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Ahti Varblane, Member of the Council

Ahti Varblane graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tartu and completed a residency in emergency medicine. He has worked as a physician-lecturer in emergency medicine at Tartu Emergency Department and Tartu University Clinic. Dr. Varblane has been in the service of the Defense Forces since 1998, and since 2004 he has been the chief physician of the Military and Disaster Medicine Center of the Defense Academy.

Lieutenant Colonel Ahti Varblane is a founding member and chairman of the board of the Society of Estonian Armed Forces Doctors. In addition, he belongs to the Estonian Society of Emergency Medicine Doctors and the Estonian Doctors’ Union. He has been awarded the Kotkarist III class decoration.