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Ieva Ilves (Kupce) was born on September 13, 1977, in Riga, Latvia. She acquired her education at the University of Latvia and in 2001 received a Masters Degree in Political Science. In 2012 she received her second Masters Degree in International Public policy from John Hopkins University, Washington D.C. USA. Currently Ieva Ilves works as the Head of National Cyber Security Policy and Political Advisor to the State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence of Latvia (MOD).

Ieva began her diplomatic career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Latvia in 1997 and continued her work in the field of foreign and security policy in different institutions focusing on issues of security, democracy and human rights.

In the late 1990s Ieva was part of the Latvian MFA team that worked on NATO enlargement, developing Latvia’s Membership Action Plan to NATO. After Latvia joined NATO in 2004 she continued her work in the field of security policy, sharing Latvia’s experience and lessons learned with its Eastern neighbors - Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia.

In 2005-2006 Ieva joined the Riga NATO Summit Task Force and directed local and NATO Public Diplomacy efforts for the NATO Summit 2006 in Riga. From 2007 to 2010 Ieva was posted to the Latvian Delegation to NATO in Brussels and from 2010 to 2011 she was seconded to the European Union as Political Advisor to the EU Special Representative in the South Caucasus in Azerbaijan. For almost two years she worked on issues of democracy, human rights, energy security and frozen conflicts in Baku, Azerbaijan. As of a result her work for the EU, bloggers Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizadeh were released from prison.

In 2012 Ieva graduated Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC with a second Masters degree. During that time Ieva, together with former US ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker, co-edited the book: Nordic-Baltic-American Cooperation: Shaping the U.S.-European Agenda.  She returned to Latvia as Advisor to the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense responsible for the establishment of the NATO STRATCOM Centre of Excellence in Riga and to coordinate cyber security policy. Currently her work is focused on cyber security issues and implementing a national cyber security strategy.

Ieva has received the State Award for organizing the NATO Summit in Riga, recognition for developing cooperation with NGOs and promotion of democracy issues and the Memory Medal of the Minister of Defense for Advancing Latvia’s Membership to NATO.

Ieva Ilves has two children: Ralfs Pundurs (b. 2002) and Isabella Kupce (b. 2014).

Career and public service

2012 – Present: Head of National Cyber Security Policy and Political Advisor to State Secretary, Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia.
2010-2011  Political Advisor to EUSR for South Caucasus in Baku.
2007-2010  Representative of the Latvian Ministry of Defence to NATO, First Secretary, Defence Section, Latvian Delegation to NATO/ Advisor to the Government of Georgia on Euro-Atlantic integration.
2005-2007  Head of Public Diplomacy, NATO Summit Latvia Task Force, Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia.
2005 (March-November) - Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Soros Foundation – Latvia
1997-2005 – Various positions in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia


2012  Nordic-Baltic-American Cooperation: Shaping the U.S.-European Agenda, Kurt Volker and Ieva Kupce, eds. The authors of the collection share their experiences and views on five broad areas of transatlantic interest: Building a Europe Whole and Free; Embedding and Integration; Russia and the East; Energy Security: and continued U.S. Engagement in Europe.

Involvement in Civic Groups

2008 - Founding member of the regional non-governmental organization "Baltic to Black Sea Alliance".
2004 - Founding Member and Chairperson of the Board of non-governmental organization in Latvia “Open Belarus”, founded April 30, 2004. Open Belarus extended Latvia’s policy and activities towards the support of democratic developments in Belarus.
2000 - Founding Member of Latvian Transatlantic Organization. Active participation in the development and implementation of educational projects and international events.


2007 - 2007 - Cross of Recognition from the Republic of Latvia, V Class, for the contribution in organizing NATO Summit in Riga.
2006 - Recognition Certificate of the Prime Minister of Latvia for organization of NATO Summit in Riga.
2005 - Recognition certificate of Minister of Foreign Affairs for the contribution to develop cooperation with non-governmental organizations and promotion of democracy issues among NGOs.

2004 - Memory Medal of Minister of Defense of Latvia for Advancing Latvia’s Membership to NATO

Foreign languages

English, Russian, Estonian (studying)