Minister of Defence, Kalle Laanet, decided to submit Kusti Salm, the current Director General of the Estonian Centre of Defence Investment (ECDI), to the government as the new candidate for Permanent Secretary.
According to the Minister of Defence, Kalle Laanet, Kusti Salm has thorough experience in the field of defence regarding defence procurements, capability development as well as international cooperation.
The Minister emphasized that in recent years much has been achieved in the field of defence, but the security situation today requires continued, determined and efficient development further. Among other things, we need to add more emphasis on developing national and regional cooperation. “Kusti Salm has proven to be a capable leader, under whose leadership the field of defence 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 of the Republic. 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 defence investment department in the Ministry of Defence, where he was responsible for policy making in the field of defence procurements, defence industry and defence-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 Defence Fund, which today amounts to nearly 10 billion Euros.
Kusti Salm joined the Ministry of Defence in 2007 as an adviser to the NATO and European Union Department. In 2009, he worked in the European Defence 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 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 of Defence coordinates the achievement of strategic national defence objectives, being responsible for policy planning, resource planning and defence planning within his area of government, as well as the organisation of development. He also coordinates the activity of institutions managed by the state authority.
The current Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Defence, Kristjan Prikk, will be moving to a high-ranking position in the Foreign Service. Kusti Salm will take office as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence on May 17th.
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