Opening Remarks and Keynote Session*
Director, NATO CCDCOE
Colonel Jaak Tarien is the Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) based in Estonia since September 2018.
Prior to joining CCDCOE Colonel Tarien served as Commander of Estonian Air Force from August 2012 to July 2018. Among other assignments he has also served as Staff Officer with NATO’s Supreme Allied Command Transformation (ACT), as Deputy Director of the Regional Airspace Surveillance Coordination Centre and as Commander of the Estonian team at the BALTNET Regional Airspace Surveillance Co-ordination Centre in Lithuania.
Colonel Tarien, a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, earned his Master’s degree from the Air Command and Staff College of the USAF Air University. He recently also acquired Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy at the U.S. National Defence University.
President of Estonia
Alar Karis is the President of the Republic of Estonia. Until taking office on 11th October 2021, he was the director of the Estonian National Museum (from 2018). President Karis served as the Auditor-General of the Republic of Estonia from 2013-2018, and before that as the rector of the Estonian University of Life Sciences from 2003-2007 and of the University of Tartu from 2007-2012. Most of President Karis’ scientific career has focused on research and teaching in molecular genetics and developmental biology. He has worked at universities in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and joined the University of Tartu as a professor in 1999.
Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service
General Paul M. Nakasone assumed his present duties as Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service in May 2018. He previously commanded U.S. Army Cyber Command from October 2016 - April 2018. A native of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Gen. Nakasone is a graduate of Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he received his commission through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He holds graduate degrees from the U.S. Army War College, the National Defense Intelligence College, and the University of Southern California.
Gen. Nakasone has held command and staff positions across all levels of the Army with assignments in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Gen. Nakasone commanded the Cyber National Mission Force at U.S. Cyber Command. He has also commanded a company, battalion, and brigade, and served as the senior intelligence officer at the battalion, division and corps levels. Gen. Nakasone has served in Joint and Army assignments in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His most recent overseas posting was as the Director of Intelligence, J2, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan. Gen. Nakasone has also served on two occasions as a staff officer on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges
David van Weel is NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. He is the Secretary General’s primary advisor on emerging security challenges and their implications for the security of the Alliance and a member of the Secretary General’s senior management team.
Prior to joining NATO, David van Weel was the Foreign Policy and Defence Advisor for the Prime Minister of The Netherlands (2016-2020). This position followed a long career in The Netherlands Ministry of Defence, where he ended as Director for International Affairs and Operations/ Policy Director (2014-2016) after serving as the Chief of Cabinet for the Minister of Defence and the Permanent Secretary (2012-2014) and as the senior policy officer for amongst others operations in Afghanistan and Libya, NATO, nuclear policy and disarmament, special operations and the preparation of the Defence Budget. David started his career in the Royal Netherlands Navy, where, upon completion of the Naval Academy (1994-1999), he served on different frigates, served in the British Royal Navy as an exchange officer, worked as a Staff Officer for Middle and Eastern European countries in the Defence Staff and ended as a Primary Warfare officer and Navigation Officer.