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Name: Kaljurand, Marina
Current Position: Ambassador

On September 9, 2011, Marina Kaljurand, the new Estonian Ambassador to the United States, presented her credentials to President Barack Obama at the White House. The first female Estonian ambassador to Washington, Kaljurand, ironically, is not ethnically Estonian, as her father was from Latvia and her mother was an ethnic Russian (although her family had lived three generations in Estonia); Kaljurand grew up speaking Russian at home.

Born Marina Rajevskaja on September 6, 1962, in Tallinn, Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, Kaljurand grew up in Estonia, completed her secondary education in Tallinn and earned a law degree from the University of Tartu in 1986.
Kaljurand taught law at the Tallinn Economic Technical School from 1986 to 1991, but when Estonia gained its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, she decided to serve her country’s Foreign Service by joining the Press and Information Department of the Foreign Ministry. To prepare for her new career, in 1991 Kaljurand took courses in the Training Program in Foreign Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, and in international treaties law at the University of Lapland, in Finland. In 1992, she graduated from the Estonian School of Diplomacy, and, having won a Fulbright Scholarship, Kaljurand earned a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University in 1995. Later that year, she also studied Government, Law and the EU at the Civil Service College in London, UK, while in 2000 she took courses in the Delimitation of Land and Maritime Boundaries at the University of Durham, also in the UK. 
At the same time, from 1992 to 1996, Kaljurand served as Director of the International Treaties Office of the Legal Department of the Foreign Ministry, where she worked on the agreement that governed the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia. In 1996, she received her first foreign posting, serving as an adviser at the Estonian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland, staying until 1999. From 1999 to 2001, Kaljurand served as the Executive Director of the Legal Department at the Foreign Ministry, and from 2001 to 2005 as the Undersecretary for Legal and Consular Affairs. In those latter years, she was head of the legal working group on the treaty to bring Estonia into the European Union.
From 2004 to 2011, Kaljurand held three ambassadorships, some of which overlapped. From 2004 to 2006, she served as Ambassador to Israel, although she did not reside there; from 2005 to 2008, she was Ambassador to Russia, where she did reside; and from 2007 to 2011, she was Ambassador to Kazakhstan, although again she did not relocate there. While in Russia, in May 2007, Kaljurand was attacked by Russian youths angry at Estonia’s removal from downtown Talinn of a Soviet-era monument, the Bronze Soldier, to the Red Army “Liberators” of Estonia. From 2008 to 2011, after her return from Russia, Kaljurand served as Undersecretary for Foreign Economic Relations and Development Aid, where she served as Estonia’s chief negotiator in talks to bring Estonia into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Marina Kaljurand and her husband, Kalle, have a daughter, Kaisa and a son, Kristjan. She speaks Russian (her native language), Estonian, English, and Finnish. Her hobbies include Nordic walking and badminton, at which she is so skilled that she won the Estonian Women’s Badminton Championship in 1991. Kaljurand is concurrently the Ambassador of Estonia to Mexico
Brutal attack on the Estonian Ambassador (by Eve Heinla, Õhtuleht) 
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