Former IRL secretary general to head Office of the President

Tiit Riisalo. (Postimees/Scanpix)
10/9/2016 5:02 PM
Source: BNS
Category: News

Kersti Kaljulaid, who will be sworn in as Estonia’s next president on Monday, has invited Kyllike Sillaste-Elling, Heido Vitsur, Tiit Riisalo, and Urmo Kübar to join her team.

Kaljulaid offered Riisalo, a former secretary general of Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), the position of director of the Office of the President, Sillaste-Elling the position of foreign policy adviser, Vitsur the position of economic adviser, and Kübar the position of adviser on civil society, a spokesperson for the president-elect said. All four had agreed to join.

“I said before I was elected that my team would be broadly based and independent. It would include people from different walks of life, with different backgrounds, experiences, and skills. A person’s world view isn’t a precondition for getting the job, but definitely not an obstacle either. Diversity of opinion is what can be found in my office in the future,” Kaljulaid said.

Riisalo announced that he would quit IRL.

Vitsur is an analyst at LHV Pank. He has worked for the Development Fund, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and the Tallinn city government, and was adviser to prime ministers Mart Siimann and Tiit Vähi. He was minister of economic affairs in 1992 and a member of the 7th Riigikogu.

Sillaste-Elling is the current deputy secretary general for political affairs at the Foreign Ministry. She has held various positions in the ministry and at the Estonian embassies in London and Washington, and has served as foreign policy advisor to the prime minister’s office.

Kübar has worked in different capacities for the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations (NENO) for ten years, including as its director from 2006 to 2013.

Riisalo has worked in the Foreign Ministry and as acting director general of the Veterinary and Food Board. He has also been on the board of GO Travel, chaired the supervisory board of the National Foundation of Civil Society, and as the secretary general of IRL.

According to commercial register data, Kübar was a member of IRL between 2002 and 2007, Vitsur has been a member of the Center Party since 2000, and Riisalo joined IRL in 2012.

Taavi Linnamäe named PR advisor

Taavi Linnamäe, who advised both Allar Jõks and Kersti Kaljulaid during their presidential campaigns, confirmed to ERR that he has accepted a position as Public Relations Adviser to the President.

So as to avoid any potential conflict of interests, Linnamäe will be divesting himself of his shares in communications firm Cloud Media.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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