Open Estonia Foundation

Speakers' Biographies

Dr Heather Grabbe, as both the director of the Open Society European Policy Institute and director of EU affairs, works to ensure that open society values are at the heart of EU policies and actions, both inside and outside its borders.
From 2004 to 2009 she was senior advisor to then European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, responsible in his cabinet for the Balkans and Turkey. Before joining the commission, she was deputy director of the Centre for European Reform, the London-based think tank, where she published widely on EU enlargement and other European issues. Her writing has appeared in the Financial TimesNew York TimesWall Street Journal, and The Guardian, among others.
Her academic career includes teaching at the London School of Economics, and research at Oxford and Birmingham universities, the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House, London), and the European University Institute (Florence). Grabbe has a PhD from Birmingham University and a BA and MA from Oxford University. She speaks French, Italian, and German.

Dr Olli Rehn is Governor of the Bank of Finland. He has been Governor and Chairman of the Board as of 12 July 2018. Governor Rehn is responsible for monetary policy preparation, domestic economic policy, external communications, international affairs and internal audit. Governor Rehn is a member of the Governing Council of the ECB. Previously, he served as the Minister of Economic Affairs in Juha Sipilä's cabinet, as the European Commissioner for Enlargement from 2004 to 2010, and as the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro of the European Commission from 2009 to 2014.

Professor of Practical Philosophy Margit Sutrop is the Head of the Centre for Ethics since it was established in 2001. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master's in philosophy from University of Tartu, she got her PhD in Philosophy from Konstanz. She is a member of Academia Europaea. Her current research interests include moral and political philosophy, bioethics, business ethics, aesthetics and philosophy of education. From 2013 Margit also serves as the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Sutrop works also as an independent ethics expert for the European Commission. For the past 10 years, she has led the Value Development Program in Estonia and has contributed to the Life-long Learing Strategy 2020. Currently, Sutrop is leading a group of experts, summoned by the Ministry of Education and Science, called "Values and Responsibility", which aims to provide a vision on Estonian education, youth work, science and innovation and language development until 2035.

An active member of Estonian civil society, Tarmo Jüristo was one of the original members to sign Harta12 (a civil initiative focusing on problem areas in state governance) and publicly stood for the ratification of the Registered Partnership Act in autumn of 2014. As a playwright at Von Krahl Theatre and NO99, Tarmo has led two plays that are considered flagships of modern Estonian theatre. He has lectured and still conducts lectures at the University of Tallinn, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and Estonian Business School. He graduated from the University of Tartu with a degree in Finance and Credit and worked in the financial sector, in fields of commercial and investment banking and risk capital management, for 15 years. Currently, he is finishing his PhD in Cultural Studies at the University of Tallinn. 

Ms Jakobson is Associate Professor of Political Sociology at Tallinn University and a researcher for the Estonian contact point of the European Migration Network. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and an MA in political science, and in 2014, received a PhD in politics and government from Tallinn University. Her research interests relate primarily to migration, citizenship and populism. In 2012 she acted as principal investigator for the study Populism in the Baltic States, funded by the Open Estonia Foundation.
In addition to academic work, she is also active in the civil society, currently serving on the board of Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organisations, and serves as a regular columnist on the Estonian Public Broadcasting.

Andreas Kaju is a founding Partner of one of Estonia's most successful PA companies META Advisory, which joined the Fipra network as Fipra Estonia in March 2011. He recently worked for clients in Financial Services, Auditing, the Food Industry, Commercial Real Estate, Energy, Healthcare and Media. He began his career working in the Estonian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, one of the largest business organisations in Estonia. In public service, Andreas served as an Adviser to the Prime Minister, Adviser to the Minister of Defence, head of the centre-right conservative party’s parliamentary group staff and as Political Secretary of the party. Andreas is a member of the Estonian NATO Society and a member of the supervisory board of the Estonian Debating Society. Andreas speaks English, Finnish and some Russian as well as his native Estonian.

Journalist Johannes Tralla works for the Estonian Public Broadcasting - he is a news anchor and hosts a talk show called "First Studio" every week, featuring politics, economy, culture and other topics. He is also among the co-hosts of "Välisilm", a weekly foreign policy news magazine. Recently, Tralla returned to Estonia after having spent six years as Estonian correspondent in the heart of Europe in Brussels. As Politico stated: "For most Estonians, more than any politician, Johannes Tralla is the face of the EU."

The foundation works to help develop open society in Estonia and other countries