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Press Release

ESMT Berlin: New director to lead expansion of Digital Society Institute

Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar
Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar has been named the new director of the Digital Society Institute (DSI) at ESMT Berlin. Currently serving as an ambassador at large for cyber diplomacy and director of the cyber diplomacy department at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar will take up the position on January 1, 2022.

“I am thrilled with the success of the institute and see the great growth potential ahead of us. Artificial intelligence, data protection, cybersecurity, and digital platforms are only going to continue to increase in importance and must be researched and taught on an ongoing basis. DSI has bridged the gap between technology and society to bring these very topics closer into focus. I am very much looking forward to continuing and expanding the institute’s expertise in these fields,” says Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar.

Tiirmaa-Klaar has several decades of expertise in cybersecurity. Prior to her time as Estonian cyber ambassador, she was responsible for cyber policy and cybersecurity issues at the European Union External Action Service, including the development and implementation of the cybersecurity strategy for the EU. 

Tiirmaa-Klaar follows Martin Schallbruch, who had been with DSI since May 2016 and is taking on the position of the CEO and member of the board at govdigital eG, a cooperative of 21 public IT service providers jointly developing digital services for the German administration. Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar will be supported in her role by co-director Sandro Gaycken, a founding member of the DSI management team. 

“We are delighted to have such a renowned and experienced international expert as Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar join DSI. Heli is the right candidate to continue its success, focusing on executive education and leading its expansion in Europe,” says Jörg Rocholl, president of ESMT. “I would like to thank Martin Schallbruch for his great service to DSI and wish him all the best in the future.” 



About The Digital Society Institute  

The Digital Society Institute (DSI) is an interdisciplinary research institute of ESMT Berlin, founded in 2015 with the support of leading global companies. It accompanies the economic and social design of digitalization through strategic research and development – with a strong focus on cybersecurity. 


About ESMT Berlin

ESMT Berlin is the highest-ranked business school in Germany and Top 10 in Europe. Founded by 25 leading global companies, ESMT offers master’s, MBA, and PhD programs, as well as executive education on its campus in Berlin, in locations around the world, online, and in online blended format. Focusing on leadership, innovation, and analytics, its diverse faculty publishes outstanding research in top academic journals. Additionally, the international business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. ESMT is a non-profit private institution of higher education, accredited by AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, and FIBAA, and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across all its activities and communities.