President Kaljulaid returned to the U.S. just two weeks after the April 3rd summit between President Trump and the Baltic presidents. Her schedule for this visit brought her back to Washington, DC and then took her to Arizona for the prestigious Sedona Forum hosted by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.
While in Washington, her main engagement was at the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group’s Spring Meetings 2018, where she appeared as a panelist in the event’s discussion on universal health coverage. The conference acknowledged Estonia as having one of the best health systems in the world and President Kaljulaid addressed the success Estonia has had with its online approach, along with innovations they have in development. In describing Estonia’s fully digitalized public sector, she noted that “the only things [Estonians] don’t do digitally are…sell property and get married.”
The president was also interviewed as part of the Spring Meetings 2018 Global Voices series, where she discussed a variety of subjects including health care, technology, gender equality, and the global digital economy. Videos of the Towards Universal Health Coverage panel and the interview are available at live.worldbank.org by searching in the Event Finder for April 20th. Her other appointments in Washington included an interview with Washington Post journalists Josh Rogin and Christian Caryl, and a visit to the Michael Sittow exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, guided by the museum’s curator John Hand.
President Kaljulaid then attended the Sedona Forum 2018, which took place on April 20th and 21st. According to its website (www.thesedonaforum.org), the annual off-the-record event “convenes thought-leaders, decisionmakers, activists and diverse experts to discuss approaches and solutions to real-world problems.” The president joined Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Open Russia founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky as panelists addressing the question, Russia: Now What? The panel examined expectations for Putin’s renewed term in power and options for responding to the Kremlin’s policies that continue to defy and attack the norms of national sovereignty, democratic rule, and international relationships.
Posts to President Kaljulaid’s social media (twitter.com/KerstiKaljulaid and www.facebook.com/KerstiKaljulaid) indicate she had conversations with several other Forum contributors, including Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) on NATO issues and energy security, and actor/activist Ashton Kutcher on curbing the problem of human trafficking. The full list of world-class participants and agenda for this year’s forum are available on its website.
The wide range of topics covered by President Kaljulaid’s second U.S. trip in a month again highlighted her ease with many complex challenges leaders currently face on the global stage. During the summit and on this visit, she cemented her status as an intelligent, competent, caring leader of a nation that deserves attention as an example to follow for others seeking to modernize their governments and better serve their citizens in a digital world. EANC looks forward to following her impact on the issues that define U.S.-Estonian relations and reporting on future visits.