Toomas Hendrik Ilves (Estonian pronunciation: ; born 26 December 1953) is the fourth and current President of Estonia. He is a former diplomat and journalist, was the leader of the Social Democratic Party in the 1990s and later a member of the European Parliament. He was elected to the post by an electoral college on 23 September 2006 and his term as President began on 9 October 2006.
Ilves was born in Stockholm, Sweden; his parents were Estonian refugees. He grew up in the United States and graduated from Leonia High School in Leonia, New Jersey in 1972 as valedictorian. He received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Columbia University in 1976 and a master's degree in the same subject from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978.
During the 1980s, Ilves worked as a journalist for Radio Free Europe and became actively involved in politics prior to Estonia's independence in 1991. Ilves subsequently became Ambassador of Estonia to the United States in 1993; he also served as Ambassador to Canada and Mexico for several years.