US Assistant Secretary of Defense Wallander gets Estonian DefMin's Cross of Merit

  • 2024-05-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonia's Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur on Friday bestowed the Defense Ministry's Cross of Merit, 2nd Class, on Celeste Wallander, the US assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, for her significant contribution to strengthening Estonia's security and developing strategic defense cooperation between Estonia and the United States. 

At the ceremony, the Estonian minister thanked Wallander for her contribution to strengthening Estonia's defense as well as supporting Ukraine.

"Celeste has been a true friend and ally to Estonia for years. In her current position, she has significantly contributed to strengthening the strategic defense cooperation between the US and Estonia. Celeste played a key role in bringing US units to Estonia -- having US boots on the ground in Estonia is invaluable both as a deterrent message and as real practical support. The training opportunities here have provided many opportunities for learning from each other to both sides," Pevkur said.

Wallander has served in her current position since 2022, prior to which she held various high-level positions in the US Department of Defense, the White House and academia.

Wallander will take part in a panel discussion at the Lennart Meri Conference in Tallinn on Friday on the upcoming NATO 75th anniversary summit in Washington.