- Ambassador George P. Kent
- Deputy Chief of Mission Gabrielle Cowan
- Key Officers
- Sections and Offices
The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn provides a range of services to American citizens, including U.S. passport and notarial services, and emergency assistance.
The Visa Unit accepts applications for U.S. non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas from persons who are physically present in Estonia.
Defense Attaché Office
The Defense Attaché Office is responsible for coordinating with Estonian defense leadership and providing advice on military issues in Estonia. The office is led by the Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché (SDO/DATT), who is the primary military advisor to the Ambassador and Country Team on military issues and developments within Estonia and has been appointed by the Secretary of Defense as the Senior U.S. Defense Representative in country. The SDO/DATT represents the Secretary of Defense, all Service Secretaries, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the U.S. European Command in Estonia. In addition to the SDO/DATT, this office includes a U.S. Navy Attaché and US Military support staff, including one locally employed staff member. The U.S. Navy Attaché represents the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations.
The Defense Attaché Office observes and reports on Estonian military and security developments, advises the Ambassador and DCM on political-military issues, and supports Department of Defense (DoD) VIP visits to Estonia.
Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC)
In coordination with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Department of State, and U.S. European Command (EUCOM), the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the U.S. Embassy in Estonia plans and executes security cooperation between the United States and Estonia. Through a range of programs and activities, the Office of Defense Cooperation engages with the Estonian Ministry of Defense and the Estonian Defense Forces to improve the interoperability of the Estonian Defense Forces with NATO partners and Estonia’s capacity for defense and deterrence.
- Building Partner Capacity: The Department of Defense, through DSCA, EUCOM, and the ODC, builds the capacity of the Estonian Defense Forces using Section 333 authorities. Previous and ongoing efforts include Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Maritime Domain Awareness, Amari Airfield development, and Estonian Defense Forces and Defense League secure communications. The FY21 Baltic Security Initiative appropriation includes $168M towards these programs.
- Foreign Military Financing: The ODC administers annual Department of State grant funding to support the development of the Estonian Defense Forces, including procurement of equipment focused on interoperability, such as secure communications systems, anti-tank missiles, and night vision devices, and funding for two U.S. Army officers to serve as instructors at the Baltic Defense College.
- International Military Education and Training: The ODC administers annual Department of State grant funding to provide professional military education opportunities for Estonian Defense Forces personnel and Ministry of Defense civil servants at U.S. military academies, staff colleges, senior service war colleges, and other higher education institutions.
- Exercises, State Partnership Program, and Military-to-Military Cooperation: EUCOM, U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. Air Forces Europe, and U.S. Marine Forces Europe execute annual regional exercises and military-to-military cooperation events focused on NATO interoperability and deterrence and defense in the Baltic Sea region. Recent and future exercises include Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), Defender Europe, Astral Knight, Swift Response, and Saber Strike, as well as participation in Estonian Defense Forces exercises Spring Storm and Hedgehog. Important to the U.S. bilateral relationship with Estonia, the Maryland National Guard has partnered with Estonia since 1993.
- Humanitarian Assistance: The ODC administers annual humanitarian assistance grants provided by DSCA and EUCOM to renovate key facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and schools with a focus toward enhancing social services. Recent and ongoing projects include two schools in Sillamäe, schools in Rummu and Maardu, and a rehabilitation clinic in Narva. The U.S. Embassy works with local authorities to determine future projects and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, using local contractors, executes them.
The Political/Economic section performs four primary functions for the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn:
- Advises the Chief of Mission and Washington on overall political and economic relations between the United States and Estonia.
- Coordinates with Estonian government officials, NGOs, and private groups to enhance Estonia’s military capabilities, improve crisis response, and further strengthen the NATO Alliance.
- Promotes U.S. economic and commercial interests by informing U.S. economic policy toward Estonia, advocating for policies that improve the business and investment climate in Estonia and within the European Union, and promoting bilateral trade and investment.
- Cooperates with Estonia to advance global peace and security, including addressing the challenges of climate change and greater energy independence, human trafficking, money laundering, and digital piracy.
Public Diplomacy Section
In coordination with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Global Public Affairs (GPA) and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the Public Diplomacy Section at the U.S. Embassy in Estonia cultivates new and strengthens existing ties between the United States and the Estonian people. Through a range of programs and activities, the Public Diplomacy Section engages with local leaders, communities, and the media to explain U.S. culture and policy and to promote collaboration in areas of mutual interest.
The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) divides its work between three main areas:
- Information: PDS guides media relations and public messaging relating to the embassy and U.S. policy in Estonia by preparing press releases and organizing media events, maintaining the embassy’s website and social media platforms, and monitoring local media reaction to United States policy and actions.
- Education: PDS administers educational and professional exchange programs, supports educational advising to assist Estonian students considering the pursuit of higher education in the U.S., and promotes English Language learning and teaching in the region by providing access to expertise and materials through its Regional English Language Office.
- Culture: PDS leads the embassy’s cultural outreach by developing programming and hosting events that focus on elements of U.S. culture and history. The section also administers a small grants program and supports the American Corners at Narva, Viljandi, and Kuressaare public libraries and the American Space at TalTech Mektory, where visitors can connect with the United States.
For more detailed information on PDS programs, please visit the Education & Culture section of the embassy’s website.
United States Secret Service
History of the Agency:
The United States Secret Service is one of the United States’ oldest federal investigative law enforcement agencies. It was founded in 1865 as a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department and was originally created to combat the counterfeiting of U.S. currency, which was a serious issue at the time.
In 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley, the Secret Service was tasked with a second mission: the protection of the President. Today, the Secret Service’s mission is two-fold: protection of the President, Vice President and others; and combating crimes that threaten the financial infrastructure of the United States.
Secret Service Presence in Estonia:
Estonia was chosen as the site for the Secret Service office due to both the investigative nexus it provides in combating cyber-crime as well as the facilitation it provides the agency in the fulfillment of its protective duties. Tallinn gives the Secret Service a strong foundation in the Baltic region and serves as a prime location from which to engage our counterparts throughout the Nordic region.
Through its presence in Estonia, the Secret Service works closely with colleagues within the criminal investigative infrastructure of each Baltic country. It works with the protection agencies for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Belarus to assist with the defense of their financial infrastructure. To this end, it successfully reduces losses incurred due to cyber-crime, financial fraud, identity theft, and through counterfeit currency. In addition, it assists Estonia and neighboring nations with the protection of their national leaders, visiting heads of state, and other government officials. The United States government believes these efforts help to preserve and protect the critical infrastructures of the Baltic States while also helping to safeguard the global economy and the United States.