Ralf is an Assistant Professor of Smart City Studies at Tallinn University of Technology and Founding Director of the FinEst Centre for Smart Cities ( In 2023, he is also a Global Digital Governance Fellow at Stanford University, co-hosted by Freeman-Spogli Institute's Program on Geopolitics, Technology, and Governance and Stanford Libraries' Estonian and Baltic Studies.
His previous positions include being a Development Manager at the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications, an ICT Counsellor to the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology in Estonia, a Supervisory Board Member at the Estonian Internet Foundation and a Government Fellow at the United Nations University’s e-Government Unit (Portugal). During 2009-2013, he was a Financial and Digitalization Consultant working with the UK Embassy, PwC, Praxis and United Nations University (Netherlands). From 2006-2009, he was an Investigative Journalist at the Business Daily Äripäev and was selected as the Best Young Journalist in Estonia by the Estonian Newspaper Association in 2008, after several nominations.
Ralf has a Bachelor degree in Psychology (Tallinn University), two Master’s degrees (MSc in Public Policy and Human Development, Maastricht University / United Nations University MERIT (Netherlands), and MBA in Financial Management, University of Tartu) and has a PhD degree in Technology Governance from the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance at TalTech.
He has been selected as the Best Junior Researcher of the Year 2019 in TalTech and as the Most Influential Person of the Year 2019 in Estonia by the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

See academic CV:
See a mid-report on Stanford's network of smart cities:
Events at Stanford: