US ambassador proposed as new foreign ministry secretary general

Jonatan Vseviov. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The current Estonian ambassador in Washington Jonatan Vseviov has been proposed as the new secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) confirmed to ERR on Thursday.

The position of secretary general will become vacant from December 1 when Rainer Saks' five-year term ends. Reinsalu said that there will probably be a gap of several months between the two terms as Vseviov needs to finish his work in Washington.

Reinsalu said he made a proposal to Saks to continue for another term, but Saks did not wish to do so. The minister said questions of why this was should be directed at Saks, not himself.

In a statement, Reinsalu said: "Jonatan Vseviov is a dedicated diplomat and public official, and will be successful in this position.

"I would like to thank current Secretary General Rainer Saks for heading the Foreign Ministry, especially for resolving the consular crisis this spring."

According to ERR's knowledge, Saks is moving on to the private sector to a company specializing in cybersecurity.

Before his appointment by the government, a selection committee for top officials will assess the nomination of Vseviov and present an opinion on his suitability as a candidate.

Vseviov graduated from the University of Tartu with a degree in political science and then obtained a master's degree in security studies at the Georgetown University.

In 2004, Vseviov joined the Policy Planning Department at the Foreign Ministry, and then moved to the Estonian Embassy in Washington as a policy diplomat.

Between 2008 and 2018, Vseviov worked at the Ministry of Defence, serving as the Undersecretary for Defence Planning from 2014 to 2016, and as the Secretary General from January 2016. From August 2018, Jonatan Vseviov has been the Estonian Ambassador to the United States.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Helen Wright

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