CCDCOE change of command: L to R Estonian CHOD Gen Terras, Sven Sakkov, Merle Maigre
CCDCOE change of command: L to R Estonian CHOD Gen Terras, Sven Sakkov, Merle Maigre

Today Merle Maigre assumed command as director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) based in Tallinn, Estonia, having most recently been the long-term security policy adviser to the president of Estonia.

The NATO-affiliated cyber-defence think-tank, the CCDCOE, is a highly respected and knowledgeable cyber-security hub with an outstanding track record, now approaching its tenth anniversary. Maigre commented that, “it is important to take this work even further, in a sustainable manner. To continue to dig deeper in our focus areas while reaching out to new international audiences.... Our goal for the years to come is to keep up the momentum and keep up the drive.”

Maigre takes over from Sven Sakkov, director of the knowledge hub since 2015. He commented, “We have reason to be proud of hosting largest and the most complex technical cyber defence exercise in the world and having launched the Tallinn Manual, the most comprehensive analysis on international law in cyber-spac,. Our digital lifestyle and cyber-security and defence should go hand in hand; if you do not invest in the latter the former will not last.”

Merle Maigre has been the Security Policy Adviser to the President of Estonia since 2012. Prior to that she served as the Policy Adviser in the Policy Planning Unit in the Private Office of NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels. Maigre has also worked as a researcher at International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS). In addition, she has served as the deputy head of the NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv and at the NATO Department in Estonia's Ministry of Defence to support the country's NATO accession.

Merle Maigre is a graduate of King's College London (M.A.), Middlebury College (B.A.), and Tartu University (B.A); she has also studied at the Johns Hopkins SAIS Bologna Center and the Paris Institute of Political Studies or Sciences-Po.

The Centre is staffed and financed by its sponsoring nations and contributing participants. Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States are signed on as Sponsoring Nations of NATO CCD COE. Austria, Finland and Sweden have become Contributing Participants, a status eligible for non-NATO nations.