GCA Announces Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar as New Chair; Cyrus Vance, Jr. to Join Board of Directors

21 December 2022The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA), an international nonprofit dedicated to eradicating cyber risk, announced today the appointment of Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar as the new chair of its Board of Directors, and that Cyrus Vance, Jr. will be joining the Board. Ms. Tiirmaa-Klaar will be GCA’s fourth Board chair, following William Pelgrin, Troels Oerting, and Scott Charney. Mr. Vance, as the former Manhattan District Attorney, played an essential role in founding GCA.

Ambassador Tiirmaa-Klaar is Director of the Digital Society Institute, European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin. She was previously Estonia’s Ambassador at Large for Cyber Diplomacy, and Director of the Cyber Diplomacy Department at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she led the efforts to promote international law and cyber norms during Estonia’s tenure on the United Nations Security Council. In her earlier career, after holding several senior roles at the MOD, she led the restructuring of Estonia’s cyber system and built national public-private partnerships for cyber resilience. She prepared a comprehensive NATO cyber defense policy and developed the European Union’s cyber strategies as well as coordinated EU external cyber relations and global capacity building programs at the European External Action Service. She has published several academic articles and studied at the George Washington University National Security MA Program as a Fulbright Fellow.

Mr. Vance is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s North America Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice as well as the firm’s Global Investigations, Compliance & Ethics Practice. He is based in New York and serves as Global Chair of Baker McKenzie’s Cybersecurity Practice. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, he served three consecutive four-year terms as Manhattan District Attorney. In this role, he oversaw a team of more than 600 prosecutors handling landmark criminal prosecutions and more than 100,000 cases each year, including investigations and prosecutions of complex, high-profile white collar and business crimes both in the US and internationally, coordinating with global crime-fighting partners including City of London Police, Paris Prosecutors’ Office, Singapore Attorney General, Europol, and Interpol.

Incoming Chair Ambassador Tiirmaa-Klaar said, “In the context of fast evolving cyber threats the cyber community needs to assist small and medium size businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other vulnerable entities that find it hard to keep up with rapidly growing cyber risks. The Global Cyber Alliance offers free cybersecurity tools that are easily adaptable by all private and public organizations and engages in other similarly valuable initiatives. As Chair of the Board, I intend to promote the work of the GCA in different regions of the world and build new partnerships to further advance cyber stability globally.”

“I am so pleased to join the GCA Board to help further its mission to increase global cybersecurity and resiliency for both individuals and small businesses,” said Mr. Vance. “I believe strongly in GCA’s innovative methods to bring about change – creating software and cybersecurity tools and distributing them globally at no cost. Cybercrime is a global problem and needs to be addressed as such in the global community, by bringing together global public and private sector leaders. As a founding member of GCA when I served as Manhattan District Attorney, this appointment is especially meaningful to me in my new role in the private sector.”

Mr. Charney, the outgoing chair of GCA, said “It is great to hand over the Chair to Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, not only because of her knowledge and capabilities, but also because it reflects GCA’s continuing commitment to diversity. Additionally, the addition of Cyrus Vance, a GCA Founder and one of its most passionate supporters, will increase the Board’s ability to carry out its global mission to protect computer users around the world.”


About the Global Cyber Alliance

The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) is an international, cross-sector effort dedicated to eradicating cyber risk and improving our connected world. GCA works with our partner community worldwide to build practical, accessible resources and measure their impact, in order to achieve a secure, trustworthy Internet that enables social and economic progress for all. Learn more at www.globalcyberalliance.org.