Meet Our Lecturers
Ambassador Eitvydas Bajarūnas
Eitvydas Bajarūnas currently is Ambassador-at-Large for Hybrid Threats at the MFA of the Republic of Lithuania. Previously he held various overseas postings - Ambassador to Sweden and Consul General of Lithuania in Saint Petersburg (Russia). He also served at the Mission of Lithuania at NATO (Brussels, Belgium). E.Bajarūnas was Political Director at the MFA, director of several units of the MFA (Europe Department, Department of Bilateral Relations, Foreign Policy Planning Division, etc) and the MoD. E.Bajarūnas also was Diplomatic Adviser of the President of Lithuania and Consultant of NATO Affairs Commission, Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania. Ambassador E.Bajarūnas is Chairman of the Board of Easter European Studies Centre (Vilnius), member of the Editorial Board of the “Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review” of the Military Academy of Lithuania, member of the Steering Board of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Helsinki) and member of the Governing Board of the European Humanities University (Vilnius). He undertook extensive education and training. He graduated Royal College of Defence Studies, London, UK, EU Senior Mission Leaders Course, conducted by European Security and Defence College and Folke Bernadotte Academy (Sweden) in Brussels and Bruges, Belgium, Courses in International Relations (Swedish Institute of International Affairs), Stockholm, Sweden, Courses in International Security, NATO (SHAPE) School, Oberammergau, Germany, School of International Relations, Central European University, Prague, the Czech Republic, etc. E.Bajarūnas holds Master of Arts in International Relations, King’s College London, UK and Diploma in Applied Mathematics, Vilnius University, Faculty of Mathematics, Lithuania. E.Bajarūnas is author of numerous articles in Lithuania and abroad on Lithuanian and Baltic-Nordic security, Russia’s foreign and security policy and hybrid threats. He is fluent in English, Russian, have knowledge in French, Polish, and Swedish.
Mr Edvinas Kerza
National Defence Vice-minister Edvinas Kerza is the first vice-minister for the field of cyber security who is also a practitioner and has hands-on experience in meeting cyber security challenges: before taking the office at the Ministry of National Defence, he was responsible for the management of the key information system projects at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union. Edvinas Kerza holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering and a master’s degree in applied statistics both of which were obtained at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. At the Ministry of National Defence, Mr Kerza is responsible for the issues of cyber security, hybrid resistance, budgetary planning and implementation.
Saulius Gasiūnas is Director of Defence Policy and Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Department of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, responsible for managing the day-to-day defense relationship between the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, NATO, the EU and the nations of Europe as well the United States and Canada. Before taking up his current position, Saulius Gasiūnas was a Defense Advisor to the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Lithuania to NATO, Brussels, Belgium. Saulius Gasiūnas joined the Permanent Lithuanian Delegation in NATO after a distinguished career at the Ministry of Defense. In the 1990s, He was the Desk officer in International relations Department, Head of NATO section, Advisor to Lithuanian Military Representative to NATO at NATO HQ Brussels (2000-2003) Director of European and NATO affairs Policy (2003-20010), Acting MOD Policy Director (2008-2010). Mr. Saulius Gasiūnas earned a B.A. and an M.A. from the Vilnius University. Completed the studies in Geneva center for Security policy and The Royal College of Defense Studies in London UK.
Mr Jörgen Elfving
Jörgen Elfving, former army officer, lieutenant colonel, who for the last 40 years professionally has studied the Soviet Union/Russia and still on a regular basis follow and write about what is happening militarily in Russia. Has served as assistant military attaché in the Baltic States and since retirement been active as writer (both for a national and an international audience) and translator Has also 2012-2016 participated in a research project at the Swedish Defense University focused on the development of Russian military capability.
Mr Daivis Petraitis
Daivis Petraitis is an independent analyst in the field of Russian military, security and defense issues. In 1991 D. Petraitis joined Lithuanian Armed Forces and until 1994 served in different positions in civil defence and rescue force. During 1994-1996 period he studied in the University of Maryland (USA) earning a Master of Public Policy degree in International Security and Economy with additional concentration on Public Finance Management. During the period of 1996-1997 he continued serving as a senior officer and head of military standardization in General Staff Operational division. During the following periods he held relevant positions as a head of military information analysis (J2) Defence Staff (1998-1999), an assistant to the chief of Defence Staff on Arms control and verification (1999), a head of analysis in J2 Defence Staff (2000-2003) and a deputy National Military Representative at SHAPE (2003-2006). After a retirement D. Petraitis joined Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania as a head of Defense Policy section in the Defense Policy and Planning department. Since 2012 he is a deputy director in the International Relations and Operations department. He has also graduated from programs presented in Rescue Board School (Sweden), Army School (Denmark), Geneva Security and Policy Center (Switzerland), Defence Intelligence Agency (USA), Baltic Defence College (Estonia) and a number of specialized military courses. D. Petraitis published a number of studies on Russian military and other related issues
Dr Deividas Šlekys
Dr Deividas Šlekys is associate professor at the Vilnius University and the Lithuanian Military Academy, where he is teaching courses on war studies and history of international relations. He holds MLitt. in War Studies, Glasgow University and PhD in political sciences from Vilnius University. In 2005-2006 worked at the Ministry of National Defence, Defence policy department. In 2011 he was a Fellow at the West Point Summer Seminar in Military History. During 2013-2014 academic year he was a Visiting research fellow at the Changing Character of War Centre, Oxford University. Recently published a book, Lithuanian military thought and its evolution since 1990 and presently is working on the second one about perception of war in interwar Lithuania. Researcher is also known as one of the major public commentators on the defence issues. Area of expertise and interest include: international relations history, civil-military relations, military theory and history, historical sociology.
Mr Darius Tamauskas
Darius is an advisor to the Minister at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. He is assisting with the coordination of foreign assistance efforts, dealing with international financial institutions like the World Bank, OECD, EIB, EBRD and alike. Before moving to Kyiv, Darius was located in London, where he worked at Churchill Capital and the Mergermarket Group. He was providing investment advice and research for hedge funds, analysed merger arbitrage, relative value and event-driven situations and generated investment ideas. Darius is a curator of World Economic Forum Global Shapers Vilnius Hub and an active member of Kyiv Hub, board member at Professional Government Association of Ukraine, member of various career mentorship and development programs. He was previously a Board Member at World Lithuanian Youth Association and the president at Lithuanian Youth Association in the United Kingdom. Darius has received his MSc in International Business and Management at Bradford Business School (UK) and BA in Political Science at the Lithuania Military Academy.
Currently Erikas Kaukas serves as Seniour Officer at Defence Policy and Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Department of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense. In 2004 after completing his studies at the Military Academy of Lithuania he was awarded a Bachelor degree in Public Administration and gained a qualification of platoon commander. Then, after four years, he graduated from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University with MBA. In 2013 he successfully accomplished his postgraduate studies at the UK leading university: University College London. Here he gained a Master of Science degree in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism. In 2017 he completed his PhD studies at the Political Science Department of the Military Academy of Lithuania and gained Doctor of Political Science academic degree. The topic of his doctoral thesis is the following: “The Impact of the Russian Military Transformation on the Security and Defence Policy of the Baltic States”. Since 1999 he has been serving in Lithuanian Armed Forces. During his military career he has held a number of positions.
Lt Col Linas Idzelis
Chief of Information Operations Section, Strategic Communication Departament of Lithuanian Armed Forces.
Giedrius Česnakas is a lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy at Vytautas Magnus University. At the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy Giedrius Česnakas teaches courses on undergraduate as well as graduate level of Energy Security Policy, Introduction of International Relations, Geopolitics, Lithuanian Foreign Policy, Global Economy and International Relations. Giedrius Česnakas has PhD in Political Science. He defended dissertation on the topic of “Energy Resources in Russia’s Foreign Policy Towards Belarus and Ukraine (2000–2012)”, for which he was awarded by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences for the best research of young researchers in the areas of the humanities and social sciences in 2014. He served Vice-Dean at the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy at Vytautas Magnus University (2014-2016), contributed as a researcher at the Energy Security Research Centre at Vytautas Magnus University where coordinated and co-authored the annual research publication on energy security “Lithuanian energy security : annual review“ since 2011 to 2015. Giedrius Česnakas authored a number of scientific articles. He also worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008-2009. Giedrius Česnakas is also columnist for the major news portals in Lithuania.
Dr. Artūras Petkus joined the Strategic Analysis Division of the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence in 2015 as a Head of division. His main areas of responsibility are: performance of energy security related analysis on strategic level; development of methodology and theoretical approach for assessment of energy security risks and threats, contribution to development of NATO ACT Strategic Foresight Analysis Report as well as Framework for Future Alliance Operations Report; contribution to research in field of Energy Security (Overview of energy security in Baltic States, study “Hybrid Conflict and Critical Energy Infrastructure: the Case of Ukraine” etc.).
Ms Jurgita Jakevičiūtė
Jurgita Jakevičiūtė is currently working in the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania and is responsible for coordination of the issues related with the external dimension of the European Union energy policy. Previously J. Jakevičiūtė worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania where dealt with the issues related with the internal dimension of the European Union energy policy, also was engaged in the activities related with the climate change process. Through these years Jakevičiūtė has gained much experience and knowledge – in terms of depth and width - about energy security at all levels (national, regional and international). She is also well familiar with the climate change issues, especially those interlinked with energy security. J. Jakevičiūtė has also a M.A. in Contemporary European Politics and B.A. in Political Science in Vytautas Magnus University. During the study period Jakevičiūtė did research in the field of international and national security.
Ignas Kalpokas is currently Lecturer at Vytautas Magnus University, where he teaches subjects related to cyber and information security, and Assistant Professor at LCC International University, where the focus of his teaching is on international law and security more broadly. He holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Nottingham and recently taught Cyber Security as a visiting lecturer at the University of Pavia. His main research areas include (1) tensions between the constituent and the constituted power in modern democracies, concentrating primarily on the issues of political ordering; (2) international political theory, especially the history and practice of sovereignty and modern challenges to sovereignty; (3) cyber security, cyber regulation, and information warfare; 4) identity formation and politics. His latest articles deal with reconstitution of today’s international order, reconfiguration of sovereignty in modern politics, and the use of social media in information warfare. His first book, Creativity and Limitation in Political Communities, was published by Routledge in 2017, and he is currently working on several projects relating to post-truth politics.
Mr Martynas Damkus
National Cyber Security Centre of Lithuania