Defense minister names Kusti Salm the new ministry Permanent Secretary

Kusti Salm.
Kusti Salm. Source: Estonian Center of Defence Investment

Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet (Reform) decided to submit Kusti Salm, the current Director General of the Estonian Center of Defence Investment (ECDI), to the government as the new candidate for ministry Permanent Secretary.

According to Laanet, Kusti Salm has thorough experience in the field of defense regarding defense procurements, capability development as well as international cooperation.

The minister emphasized that much has been achieved in recent years in the field of defense, but the security situation today requires continued, determined and efficient development further, the defense ministry announced via press release on Friday.

Among other things, more emphasis needs to be put on developing national and regional cooperation. "Kusti Salm has proven to be a capable leader, under whose leadership the field of defense procurement and infrastructure has been taken to a new level. He has also been involved in several complex negotiations as well as national and international projects," Laanet pointed out.

The minister will submit his proposal to the government and the Civil Service Committee for Selection of Top Managers will submit its opinion on the candidate for the position of Permanent Secretary.

Prior the position of the Director General of the ECDI, Kusti Salm worked as the director of the defense investment department in the Ministry of Defense, where he was responsible for policy making in the field of defense procurements, defense industry and defense-related science and development activities. In 2017, during Estonia's presidency of the European Union, Salm led the negotiations on the establishment of the European Union Defense Fund, which today amounts to nearly €10 billion, according to the ministry.

Kusti Salm joined the defense ministry in 2007 as an adviser to the NATO and European Union Department. In 2009, he worked in the European Defense Agency and in 2011-2015, as an Armaments Co-operation Counsellor in the Permanent Representation of Estonia to NATO.

Kusti Salm is a graduate of Political Science from the University of Tartu, has improved himself professionally in the field of business management, in Holland, and through armament cooperation courses in France. Salm has completed his conscript service in Tapa, at the Artillery Battalion. He has been decorated with the fourth class of the Order of the White Star by the President of the Republic of Estonia and third class of the Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defence.

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry coordinates the achievement of strategic national defense objectives, being responsible for policy planning, resource planning and defense planning within his area of government, as well as the organization of development. He also coordinates the activity of institutions managed by the state authority.

The current Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Defense, Kristjan Prikk, will be moving to a high-ranking position in the Foreign Service. Kusti Salm will take office as Permanent Secretary of the defense ministry on May 17.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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