From 2004-2016 Kersti Kaljulaid was a Member of the European Court of Auditors. She has previously worked as the CFO and CEO of the Iru Power Plant of state-owned energy company Eesti Energia and as an Economic Advisor to Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar. She has graduated from the University of Tartu in the field of genetics and completed master’s studies in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR). Former Commissioner for Regional Policy. Former Federal Minister of Science and Research as part of the Austrian Federal Government (and in 2008-2009 acting Federal Minister for Justice).
As Commissioner, he has extensive experience in cooperation with the EU’s neighbours in the South and East. In this role he oversaw the implementation of the European Neighbourhood policy and coordination of the EU’s cooperation with the partners in areas like trade, mobility, energy and education. Mr. Hahn joined the European Commission in 2010.
Vazil Hudák joined the European Investment Bank as Vice-President at the beginning of October, 2016. Prior to this office, he was appointed as the Chief Negotiator of the EU Budget during the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union. He has served as Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic from 2015 until 2016. Before this, he was State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Representative of the Slovak Republic on the Board of Governors in the European Stability Mechanism. He was also Industry Head for Public Sector of Eastern Europe in J.P. Morgan Chase and has worked for the Citi Group and EastWest Institute in U.S and Europe. Vazil Hudák started his career at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He studied at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in Moscow, Charles University in Prague and Harvard Business School.
Siim Sikkut, the Deputy Secretary General for Communications and State Information Systems, co-ordinates the development, implementation and surveillance of telecommunications and post, state information systems and information society sphere development plans within the Ministry’s area of government. The Deputy Secretary General also arranges the preparation of related legislation in Estonia and is responsible for drafting and protection the Government’s positions in this sphere both in the European Unions and international organisations.
Alar Kolk is the President of European Innovation Academy. Formerly he was Vice Rector of Tallinn Tech. Alar was the CEO of the Estonian Innovation Foundation. He was the founding director of the Estonian Technology Agency and CEO of Enterprise Estonia. He has been shaping many innovation policies as he was active in R&D policy planning bodies: Research and Development Council of Estonia (Innovation Policy Committee and Research Policy Committee), Estonian-Finnish R&D Committee, Estonian Space Committee, and in the Estonian R&D Strategy Committee. He has been advising and financing more than 500 R&D and innovation projects during 15 years. Alar has organised innovation education for 4000 business executives and students in Europe, Silicon Valley and China.
Yana Krimpe is an accomplished visionary in the field of e-and m-Government, National Mobile Digital Identification, and Signatures. She is the founder of the award-winning Azerbaijani-Estonian ICT company B.EST Solutions, a leader in mID, that is a digital global disruptive technology and a valuable instrument to be used in facilitating the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. With more than 15 years of experience in the public and private sector, she is also the head of the Mobile-ID Consortium in Azerbaijan and chairwoman of the Azerbaijani-Estonian Chamber of Commerce. In 2016 Financial Times and Google included her in the New Europe 100 list of innovative leaders and change makers in Europe.
Zurab Magradze (ISACA CGEIT) is Business Development Director of LTD UGT, one of the largest IT Company in Georgia. He has work experience for 25 years in Software Development and IT Management field. Previously he worked in government sector for more than 10 years and as Deputy Head and Director of IT Development Department of Public Service Development Agency took active part in eGovernment projects in Georgia, namely Civil Registry reform, ePassport and eID projects, Certification Authority project, Public Service Hall project etc. Currently he is working on development of IT outsourcing and Cloud services
While working at the Ministry of the Interior, from 2006-2007 Marek Helm served as a member of the domestic security project team that prepared Estonia for entry into the Schengen area. Beginning in 2007, Helm was responsible for creating the new Police and Border Guard Board within the Ministry’s area of responsibilities. This project included, inter alia, using SAP commercial software in the combined entity to support the management of its finances, personnel, and lopgistics. Helm became Deputy Secretary-General for Administration in November 2009, with areas of responsibility including the national civil service, public procurement and state aid, development of policy on state property, and management of state accounting work and of the operation of the state treasury. From 2011-2016, Helm served as director general of the Tax and Customs Board. In 2017, Helm joined the software and business consulting firm Nortal, where he directs its work on advising public sector customers on public finance and on managing change in various export markets.
Aleksi Kopponen is a Special Advisor of Digitalization at Ministry of Finance in Finland, pioneering customer-centric governance and cross-sectoral ecosystem operating models in action. Aleksi’s responsibilities include preparation and implementation of the principles of digitalization, implementation of The Playbook of Digitalization, and supervision of the digitalization supporting team D9 in State Treasury. Aleksi has also supported the preparation of the Government projects for digitalization of processes, in total of 100 M€ in between years 2015 and 2016.
Ana Chirita is the Executive Director of the Moldovan Association of ICT Companies. As an advocate for the local IT community, she plays an important role in developing Moldova’s ICT industry. For the last 8 years Ana has actively been involved in a series of initiatives aiming to advance the competitiveness of the ICT sector and promote the ICT as a core enabler for national economic growth. Under her leadership the Association became an important voice of the industry and a viable platform of collaboration between the private sector, Government and development partners
Vasyl started as a Microsoft-instructor and made his way to the head of the IT consulting department in the largest IT-system integrator – the company “Incom”. Then for 3 years, he had been working as an internal consultant at Luxoft, the largest Ukrainian ODC, where he gained practical experience in managing advanced SW projects (for example, BigData, IoT). Since April 2015, as a volunteer, he got involved with the Public Procurement reform of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade in Ukraine. Vasyl was inspired with the big changes that became possible due to successful professionals and entrepreneurs joined the reform team and made great efforts to change the country.
Starting from November 14, 2016, Vasyl joined the Prozorro team as a CEO of SEO ProZorro and continues making the country better.
Karl Gheysen was born in Belgium, 1970. He graduated from HIEPSO in Kortrijk, and later continued his education through different management courses at both Strayer University, as well as INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. He is a Senior Manager for over 15 years. Areas of expertise include container terminals, port management and logistic projects management. He started his career in Ahlers, Antwerp – an international logistics and maritime service provider – with having managed major markets of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. From 2004 to 2007 – Regional Manager Bas Congo, SDV – Congo D.R.C. (Bolloré Africa Logistics). From 2008 to 2014 – General Manager, TEMA Container Terminal Ghana Ltd. Since August 2014, he holds the position of Chief Executive Officer at “KTZE – Khorgos Gateway LLP”. This is the Dry Port and Economic Zone project along the New Silk Road.
Siim Kallas is a visiting professor at the University of Tartu and performs the duties of special counsellor to Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue at the European Commission. He served as the European Commission’s Vice-President of Transport from 2010–2014, and as the European Commission’s Vice-President of Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Corruption from 2004–2010. In May 2004, he was the first Estonian to be appointed to the European Commission to work with economics and finance. Prior to his work in the European Commission, Siim Kallas was active in the re-building of the Republic of Estonia, having served as Estonia’s Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Foreign Minister and the President of Eesti Pank. Siim Kallas has been elected to the Estonian Riigikogu three times. Siim Kallas has graduated cum laude from the University of Tartu in the department of finance and credit. He has been awarded the 1st and 2nd Class of the Order of the National Coat of Arms, the Order of the French Legion of Honour and the German Order of Merit, and has been named one of the ‘100 greatest people of the 20th century’.
Alexander Alexeyev is the Export Director of Biosphere Corporation, a leading manufacturer and distributor of household and hygienic products. The company having multimillion market share is a top performer in Ukraine and is among the biggest in the CIS. Having previously held the position of Head of Private Label Department, Alexeyev has 15 years of experience in FMCG sales development in private label products in Ukraine and CIS countries. He started in his current position of Export Director in 2017. Alexeyev holds a degree from the School of Global Markets in Kyiv-Mohyla Business School.
Since October 2015 works as Principal Advisor at the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission. Her portfolio covers trade relations with Eastern Partnership countries (notably implementation of the DCFTAs with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) as well as with Iran and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Before she worked (2006-2010) as Director in charge of public procurement, intellectual property and bilateral trade relations with European (non-EU) and Central Asia countries and thereafter as a Director of the European Commission Representation in Poland (2010-2015). Before joining the Commission she worked in Polish public administration as a Director at the Office of the Committee for European Integration coordinating the domestic adjustment process linked with the accession of Poland to the EU. In years 2003-2005 posted in Brussels as Deputy Permanent Representative of Poland to the EU. She has PhD in economics and is author of several publications on integration of Poland with the EU.
Jemal Inaishvili is honorary chairman of the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC) and a member of the ICC World Chamber Federation General Council, as well as a member of the board of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry–of which he previously served as president. Mr. Inaishvili dedicates most of his time to promoting the chamber movement and facilitating trade and investments in the region. The former CEO of Poti Sea Port, Mr. Inaishvili has extensive business experience; he is a past president (and current honorary president) of the Black and Azov Seas Ports Association (BASPA)
Claudio Richardson, a dual British / Italian citizen was born in Trieste, Italy in 1980. Claudio is a seasoned professional in the logistics industry and holds a BSc in Transport and Logistics from the University of Huddersfield, UK. He has been the managing director for Kuehne Nagel in Estonia since September 2015. Prior to the current assignment, he has been employed with DP-DHL for nearly ten years, living between Europe and Asia and covering a varied of senior roles across activities mainly related to freight forwarding and supply chain consultancy. Claudio is a regular keynote speaker, addressing industry conferences with particular interest to intermodal operations and supply chains digitalization.
Prior to taking up her current post as Deputy Director General at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, Maive Rute held Director positions in DG Research and Innovation and in the former DG Enterprise and Industry. Before joining the Commission in 2005, Maive was CEO of KredEx, the Estonian funding body for businesses, innovation, housing and export. Maive Rute graduated as an economist from the Estonian University of Life Sciences. She holds an MBA from the Danube University, Austria, received an MA in international politics from CERIS, Brussels and has been a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University.
Pavel Haidai is the Head and Founder of Avtologistika LLC, based in Ukraine. He took over in 2003 and transformed an ex-Soviet company to a leader on the national market of finished vehicles logistics. The company now also holds the position of leader of innovations in Ukraine. Prior to joining Avtologistika, Mr. Haidai carried out numerous projects in transport as a project leader at national and international level and he has 18 years of professional experience in marketing, logistics and transport. Graduated Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with a degree in Mathematics. Mr. Haidai has a strong belief that transportation is the main driver for changes in our world and it is the mission of logistics to bring the future closer. That is why his company has also taken on strong IT-developing skills to work on important projects in the field of global data sharing, automotive logistics optimization and mobility.
Bernhard Surmann is the Managing Director at Miprotek GmbH, a medium-sized company which provides individualized automation solutions including engineering, software, caballing, assembling and commissioning all over the world. Mr. Surmann has 25 years of experience in the ITC business, including 17 years of experience as a manager. He has experience with ERP, MES, PLC and HMI Systems. Today he integrates sensor signals, office systems and users in high level processes. Mr. Surmann holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hannover. Before that, he obtained a dual education for an electronic specialist in a medium sized high-tech company.
Valery Tsepkalo is a Belarusian diplomat and executive, founder of Belarus Hi-Tech Park. From 1997 to 2002 he served as Ambassador to the United States of America and to the United Mexican States, and from 2005 to 2017 he headed Belarus Hi-Tech Park which became the largest IT cluster in Central and Eastern Europe over that period. He also served as a governmental expert to the UN Secretary General in the field of information and communication technologies. Valery Tsepkalo has a Doctor degree in International Law, as well as a rank of Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.
Dr. Andrew Lynch is the Chief Innovation and Network Officer with Irish Manufacturing Research. He has spent 20 years in the manufacturing sector as an owner manager, consultant, senior manager and latterly researcher of SME manufacturing sites in Ireland and abroad. His role in Irish Manufacturing Research is to encourage and facilitate industrial research projects and interactions with the Centre, as well as coordinating international activities across Europe. Andrew Lynch holds an honours degree in Biology, A first class Masters in Environmental Analytical Chemistry from University College Cork and a PhD in Engineering from the University of Limerick. Andrew Lynch chairs the National Steering Committee in Cobotics, and is the National Delegate on several manufacturing policy fora across a number of European platforms.
Kaspar Korjus, as Managing Director of e-Residency, is building the first transnational digital identity platform in the world. e-Residency is a new fully digital country for global citizens, built on inclusion, transparency and legitimacy to empower citizens globally and to achieve world-wide digital and financial inclusion. Kaspar is listed by Forbes Estonia `30 under 30´ people as #1 in Technology and Finance and elected by US CTO Megan Smith as one of the 20 global digital leaders.
André Küüsvek is the Director for Local Currency and Capital Markets Development (LC2) at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), leading the strategic bank-wide LC2 Initiative. He is also a member of two EBRD management committees, the Strategy and Policy Committee and the Asset and Liability Committee. André’s earlier career with the EBRD includes being a Country Director in Ukraine, the second largest country of EBRD investment, in 2008-2013; and a Country Director in Kazakhstan in 2004-2008. Before this, André led project teams investing equity and debt in financial institutions across the EBRD region in 1996-2004, simultaneously being the EBRD-wide coordinator for capital markets and stock exchanges and the financial sector coordinator for several countries. André has served on the boards of over 30 banks, insurance companies, equity funds and enterprises. An Estonian national, André graduated with MSc from Tallinn University of Technology, studying also in Sweden, Germany, Finland and Hungary. He is also a graduate of Estonian Business School and Stockholm School of Economics. André is fluent in five languages.
In September 2015, Katarína Mathernová assumed her function as Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Neighbourhood & Enlargement Negotiations. She has served as Deputy Director General in Regional Policy (2007-2010). Mathernová has held senior management and advisory posts at the European Commission, the World Bank (2002-2004, 2010-2014), and in the reform government in Slovakia (1998-2002) where she was Chief Institutional and Policy Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, key architect of the Slovak economy’s transformation.
Volodymyr Lavrenchuk is a graduate of Kyiv Economic Institute, Finance and Economy Department. In banking — since 1982. In different time he occupied managerial positions in the Savings Bank of Ukraine, Ukrinbank and Raiffeisenbank Ukraine. Since October 2005, Mr. Lavrenchuk has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Raiffeisen Bank Aval. Volodymyr Lavrenchuk is Vice-President of European Business Association. Mr. Lavrenchuk several times has been recognized as the best leader in the financial segment of Ukraine. Expert groups, which took part in making business ratings for numerous magazines in different years, recognized CEO of Raiffeisen Bank Aval as the best top manager in Ukraine’s banking system.
Nerses Yeritsyan holds the position of the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia since December 22, 2010. His previous work experience includes the Parliament of the Republic of Armenia, the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) and the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Armenia. In the Central Bank of Armenia he successively held the following positions: Advisor to the Chairman, Head of Monetary Policy Department, Member of the Board for two terms, Senior Advisor to the Chairman, and Acting Head of the Financial Monitoring Center (FMC/FIU). Nerses Yeritsyan held also the position of Advisor to the Dutch Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund.
Urmas Peiker is the Co-founder, Chairman and in charge of business development of Funderbeam. Beginning his career as a securities regulator in Estonia, in charge of both the regulation and supervision of public capital markets he established an early interest in growth capital and legal compliancy. He achieved an LL.M degree from Duke University (U.S.). Which led to careers at EBRD, Morgan Stanley, and finally as the Head of Compliance at LHV Bank (Estonia) before beginning to build Funderbeam. Urmas Peiker’s main interests and experiences have concerned the history, function, and evolution of global capital markets. He has since led the charge of creating and developing Funderbeam’s marketplace, where growth companies can be funded and traded across borders.
Mrs Palanza, who holds a Master’s degree in Economics, joined the Bank in 1984. She has spent a large part of her career working in different capacities relating to the African Caribbean and Pacific region, initially in the projects directorate as an economist for West Africa and subsequently the Caribbean, and since 2001 in the directorate for lending operations outside Europe where she was head of strategy and then associate director for East and Central Africa and the Pacific. In 2012, Mrs Palanza was appointed director of the department for lending in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Since 1st January 2015 she has been heading the department for lending in central and south eastern Europe.
Mario Ohoven is an investment-banker, President of BVMW and European President of CEA-PME. For over 30-years, Mr. Ohoven has been successful in the field of investment banking and asset managing. His group of companies is amongst the market leaders in its field with a total investment of more than 4 billion USD. Mario Ohoven is the scion of one of the oldest German entrepreneurial families (hemp spinning and paper manufactory Ohoven) established in 1810. He is known for his prognoses regarding the economy and the financial markets. In 2000 he warned about the decline of technology equities. In May 2007 he warned in detail about the fiasco of the financial markets. He is a respected keynote speaker of distinguished events and symposiums. His book “Die Magie des Power-Selling” was a bestseller for over 3 years, is in its 13th edition and was translated in 9 languages. Since 1997 he is President of the BVMW senate and since 1998 President of the BVMW, the most powerful of the non-statutory SME-associations. The BVMW represents over 550,000 enterprises with about 10 million employees. Since 2002 Mr. Ohoven is European President of CEA-PME, the European confederation of associations of small and medium-sized enterprises (2 million enterprises with ca. 16 million employees).
Véronique Willems was unanimously elected as new Secretary General of UEAPME on the 15th December 2016. She took over as from January 2017 and succeed Peter Faross, who led UEAPME over the last three years. Since 2009, she was the Head of European affairs at UNIZO (UEAPME Belgian member organisation) and has been responsible for advocacy on policies affecting SMEs at EU-level. In January 2016, she was nominated deputy to the SME representative for Belgium at the European Economic and Social Committee. Ms Willems started her career at UNIZO in 1999 as Policy Officer in charge of SME education and counselling and went on to work at the regional office (Vlaams-Brabant & Brussel) as responsible for advocacy at regional level, mentorship programs and individual counselling for entrepreneurs. Ms Willems holds a Law degree from Vrije Universiteit Brussels and a Master’s Degree in Commercial sciences / Business management from VLEKHO Brussels.
Since November 2016, Urve Palo has been Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology of the Republic of Estonia. First elected in 2011 to the Riigikogu, Estonia’s parliament, Palo also served as Minister of Entrepreneurship in 2015 and as Minister of Population and Ethnic Affairs from 2007-2009. Prior to entering public service, she was the director of Saint-Gobain Isover AS, where she worked for ten years. Born in Haapsalu, Palo holds an MBA from the University of Tartu.
Dr. Ott Pärna is an economist and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of ESTCORP, a team of experienced initiators, designers and leaders of complex projects, and a creative think tank with a global research network. He is running a popular International Business & Economics-related Radio Show BOOM @ KUKU Radio. Mr Pärna is the former CEO of the Estonian Development Fund, the national ‘innovation lab’ established by the Parliament. He has led the founding teams at SmartCap Ltd (venture capital), FinanceEstonia Foundation, Estonian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association EstVCA, Tallinn Science Park TEHNOPOL. Dr. Pärna holds MPhil in Science and Technology Policy Research from University of Sussex and PhD in Economics from University of Tartu. As a global citizen, Ott has lived in the UK, Denmark, Finland and Singapore.