United States Secret Service
About United States Secret Service
History of the Agency:
The United States Secret Service is one of our nation’s oldest federal investigative law enforcement agencies. It was founded in 1865 as a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department. The agency 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 is 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 provides the Secret Service with a strong foundation in the Baltic region and serves as a prime location from which to engage our counterparts in Russia and throughout the Nordic region.
Through its presence here in Estonia, the Secret Service works closely with our colleagues within the criminal investigative infrastructure of each Baltic country. It also works with the protection agencies for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. It is primarily assisting all three nations with the protection of their financial infrastructure. To this end it, it is successful in reducing the losses incurred due to cyber-crime, financial fraud, identity theft and through counterfeit currency. It also assisting our host nation and its neighbors in the protection of their national leaders, visiting heads of state and 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 protect the global economy and the United States.
Public Affairs Section
About Public Affairs Section
The Public Affairs Section explains the United States – its culture and its policies – to the Estonian public. It does this via educational and exchanges and information outreach activities. It is the main point of contact for educational, cultural, and media issues.
The Public Affairs Section:
- Issues press releases to inform media organizations and the general public about official visits, Embassy-organized events and projects, consular matters of interest to Estonians, U.S.-Estonian military cooperation, etc.;
- Maintains this website
- Organizing press conferences or smaller meetings with Estonian media during visits of U.S. Government officials or U.S. Government -sponsored visitors
- Provides public affairs/media relations guidance within the Embassy and informs Washington of Estonian media reaction to U.S. policies and actions.
- Runs the Fulbright graduate student and scholar exchange program and the secondary or primary level Teacher Exchange Program;
- Administers the Humphrey Fellowship exchange program for mid-level professionals;
- Fosters the field of American studies in Estonian universities and institutes of higher education;
- Supports educational advising centers (in Tallinn and Tartu) which provide prospective students with information and guidance on U.S. higher education.
- Promotes U.S. – Estonia cooperation through a highly competitive Small Grants Program for visits to Estonia of American experts, specialists and performers. This grant program provides support to academic, artistic and other activities of mutual interests of the requesting organization and the Embassy. For further inquiries please contact USASaatkond@state.gov;
- Selects Estonians for the International Visitor Leadership Program, a program designed to bring participants to the U.S. to meet and confer with professional counterparts and to experience firsthand the U.S. and its institutions;
- Supports the American Corners located in Narva, Viljandi and Kuressaare public libraries and American Space at Tallinn Tech.
- The Public Affairs Section carries out its overseas duties in coordination with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
- Information Resource Center (IRC)
Public Affairs Section
15099 Tallinn, Estonia
About Consular Section
The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn provides a full range of services to American citizens, including U.S. passport and notarial services, Social Security benefits and assistance to Veterans, and emergency assistance to citizens.
Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC)
About Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC)
- Foreign Military Financing
- International Military Education and Training Program
- Humanitarian Demining
- Humanitarian Assistance
These programs range in objectives from improving the interoperability of Estonian Defense Forces with NATO partners to improving quality of life- whether it be by making a safer environment by upgrading Estonia’s demining efforts or a more efficient society by providing for the special needs of Estonia’s citizens by improving and renovating infrastructure at schools, hospitals, clinics, and other institutions. All of the programs have a common overarching goal to improve the strategic relationship between the United States and Estonia.
Foreign Military Financing
This program is an annual grant of U.S. taxpayer dollars to support the development of the Estonian Defense Forces. It is used in a number of ways varying from the procurement of modern equipment with a focus on interoperability and the improvement of key infrastructure, such as the Regional Air Surveillance Coordination Center (RASCC), to supporting a U.S. Army Officer serving as an instructor at the Baltic Defense College in Tartu.
These initiatives are important for several reasons. They allow Estonia to mature into a capable force that is able, at a moment’s notice, to stand shoulder to shoulder with NATO partners or as U.S. partners in coalitions of the willing. Estonia is currently demonstrating this as it is involved in real world combat operations as a partner of the United Kingdom in Afghanistan and by contributing forces in Kosovo. Recently, Estonia ended its mission in Iraq after operating for five years with U.S. forces in Baghdad.
Estonia will continue to purchase equipment that provides its defense forces comparable capabilities to U.S. troops. These will include night-vision devices, global positioning systems, and more secure communication assets.
International Military Education Training (IMET)
This key program focuses on the professional development of, not only those in uniform, but just as importantly civil servants in key ministries, such as the Estonian Ministry of Defense. Synergy between this program and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) is key.m Once the force equips itself (via procurements from FMF), the International Military Education Training (IMET) allows for the professional education of key personnel; the utility of FMF procurements, in theory, will be put into practice by individuals who, because of their training, will use the same doctrine. Thus, there is interoperability not just of equipment, but even more importantly of individuals whether through employed tactics, strategy, leadership, or other relevant principles.
The United States has sponsored the attendance of Estonian Armed Force Personnel to our military academies and our higher level institutions, such as the U.S. War College. These courses focus on the development of officers and non-commissioned officers through leadership courses, as well as through physically challenging courses, such as Ranger School, SEAL courses, and Airborne courses- including basic, as well as advanced, military free fall. To date, Estonia has several graduates from the U.S. War College, National Defense University, and Sergeant Major’s Academy. Several Estonian graduates from U.S. military academies have since transitioned to influential positions within the Ministry of Defense. IMET also focuses on mid-career personnel allowing them to attend U.S. staff colleges, such as the Command and General Staff College, as well as the Air Force Staff College. The IMET has and will continue to pay huge dividends as the current and next generation of future Estonian leaders benefit from the opportunities it provides.
Humanitarian Demining Program
Estonia has participated in the USG Humanitarian Demining Program (HDP) for over ten years and the program continues to support the establishment of a sustainable mine action capacity. Unexploded ordnances (UXO) from World War II – including both sea mines and land ordnances- continue to pose a threat to not only Estonian citizens, but international maritime traffic as well. The Baltic Sea was heavily mined during both world wars and to this day it is not uncommon that deep-sea fishing nets pull up live mines. Combine the presence of this UXO with increasing maritime traffic, such as ferries, cargo ships and fishing vessels and the probability of future incidents remains a real threat.
Whether from UXO as a result of conflict between Russian and German forces in WWII or mortar, rockets, and artillery shells expended by Soviet troops during the occupation, the result is the same- areas highly contaminated with UXO that pose a hazard and are still a threat to Estonian citizens. Recent donations to the demining program have funded and supported the establishment of a National Demining Office and the purchase of state-of-the-art demining equipment, such as robots and other training aids and resources. This program has and will continue to make Estonia a safer place to live and provide for safe waterways, which will benefit the international community as well.
Humanitarian Assistance Program
With grants provided by the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), countries like Estonia are able to renovate key facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and schools with a focus toward enhancing social services. The program has enhanced the lives of many people, even outside of the local community because of the type of projects completed. We are touching areas outside the capital city and promoting U.S. goodwill in traditionally hard-to-reach areas. Several of the projects have been in the northeastern part of Estonia, which has a large ethnic minority population.
About Political/Economic Section
The Political/Economic section performs three primary functions for the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn:
- Represents and advances U.S. interests to the Estonian government, business community, and public;
- Provides Washington agencies with reporting and analysis of key developments in Estonia’s domestic and foreign policy agendas
- Supports official visitors from the United States to Estonia ranging from working-level contacts up to the President of the United States and Secretary of State.
Estonia is an active and supportive partner of the United States on issues ranging from advancing global peace and security to addressing the challenges of climate change and greater energy independence. The Political/Economic section reports on major developments in these and many other areas. It also works closely with other Embassy sections on targeted programs to assist Estonia in a diverse range of issues including HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, money laundering and digital piracy.
The section supports and advises the Embassy’s Chief of Mission on constructive engangement with Estonian government officials, NGOs, and private groups to enhance Estonia’s military capabilities, promote economic growth and innovation, and to further U.S. business interests.
Defense Attaché Office
About Defense Attaché Office
The Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché (SDO/DATT) is LTC Povilas Strazdas. He is the primary military advisor to the Ambassador and Country Team on military issues and developments within Estonia and he has been appointed as the Senior U.S. Defense Representative in country by the Secretary of Defense. He also represents the Secretary of Defense, all Service Secretaries, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the U.S. European Command in Estonia. Povilas Strazdas observes and reports on Estonian military and security developments and advises the Ambassador and DCM on political-military issues and supports Department of Defense (DoD) and armed services’ VIP visitors to Estonia.
In addition to the SDO/DATT, this office includes U.S. Navy CDR Jason Hagadorn, who represents the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations and The Operations Coordinator or OPSCO SFC Kevin French. The Defense Attaché Office also has one locally employed staff member, Mr. Andres Ojasaar.