Short Biography of Ambassador Kristjan Prikk

Kristjan Prikk has served as Estonia´s  Ambassador to the United States since May 2021. This is his third diplomatic posting to Washington, DC.

Before assuming his current duties, Prikk served for nearly three years as the Permanent Secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defense. In this role he was responsible for the management of the Ministry and for the coordination of activities of the agencies under the Ministry, including the Estonian Defense Forces, the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, and the Centre for Defense Investments.

Prior to becoming the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Prikk worked as Undersecretary for Defense Policy in the Ministry of Defense from July 2017 to August 2018. From 2015 to 2017 Mr. Prikk was the Director of National Security and the Defense Coordination Unit of the Estonian Government Office, coordinating the development and implementation of the whole-of-government interagency approach to national defense in Estonia and advising the Prime Minister on these issues. He also served as Deputy Director of the same office for two years prior to becoming the Director in 2015.

His previous Ministry of Defense assignments include serving as Defense Counsellor at the Estonian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (2010-2013) and as Director of International Cooperation Department in Tallinn (2007-2010).

Prior to joining the Ministry of Defense, Mr. Prikk worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on NATO issues mainly pertaining to its enlargement and its partnership with Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia in the Security Policy and Arms Control Bureau (2006-2007). Additionally, he has held assignments as a diplomat covering trade and economic issues at the Estonian Embassy in Washington (2002-2006) and as a foreign trade and World Trade Organization specialist at the Foreign Ministry’s headquarters in Tallinn (1999-2002).

Mr. Prikk holds a Master’s degree from the Strategic Studies Program of the United States Army War College (2013) and a Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from the University of Tartu, Estonia (2000).

In 2000-2001, Mr. Prikk performed his required military service in the Estonian Defense Forces, where he remains a reserve officer, and is also a member of Estonia’s voluntary defense organization Kaitseliit (Estonian Defense League). He has been decorated with the Order of the White Star (4th Class) by the President of the Republic of Estonia, the Cross of Merit (1st Class) of the Ministry of Defense of Estonia, as well as other decorations from the Estonian Defense Forces, the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, and the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, among others.

Mr. Prikk is married to Liis, with whom he has two daughters and a son.