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.
Jaan Toots, Member of the Council
Jaan Toots graduated from the Faculty of Mechanics of the Tallinn Polytechnic Institute in 1981 and from the FBI training in the United States in 1994. He has been the head and establisher of the Estonian special service and police. After the position of Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior in 1997, Jaan Toots moved to the private sector, where he has been the manager, advisor and chairman of the supervisory board of several large companies. Since 2019, he has been the chairman of the board of the Tartu region of the Estonian Center Party.
In public life he has been the Vice President of the Estonian Motorsports Association, the President of the Estonian Cyclists ‘Union, a member of the Estonian Olympic Committee Executive Committee, a member of the BPO (Baltic Ports Organization) Board, the President of the Estonian Dance Sports Association, the Honorary President of the Estonian Cyclists’ Union. In 2006, he was awarded the 4th class Order of the Eagle Cross, the Gold Medal of the Security Board of the Police Board (for the establishment and management of the Special Service of the Republic of Estonia), the Order of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Estonia and the 2nd Class Order of the Estonian Police.
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.