On February 8, 2023, Chair of Business Administration and Professor Dr. Charles Kroncke, Ph.D. was bestowed as Estonia's Honorary Consul for Ohio and Kentucky by Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk.

Mount St. Joseph University group of officers formally standing next to each other.

CINCINNATI, Oh. – Mount St. Joseph University (MSJ) professor Dr. Charles Kroncke was formally bestowed Wednesday as Estonia's Honorary Consul for Ohio and Kentucky during a reception attended by Estonian Ambassador to the United States Kristjan Prikk.

charles shaking ambassador's hand
In photo: Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk (left) shaking hands with Dr. Kroncke (right).

Dr. Kroncke, a Professor of Economics and Chair of Business Administration at the Mount, was named Honorary Consul by the U.S. State Department earlier this year. His duties include providing passports and identification cards to Estonians living in the area; serving as the contact person for local businesses seeking partnerships and trade with Estonian companies, or that wish to expand into the Estonian market; and assisting in promoting Estonian cultural events.

“It is a great honor to represent Estonia in the Cincinnati area,” Dr. Kroncke said. “This has been in the works for over a year. I interviewed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs two summers ago and they submitted my name to the U.S. State Department for approval. My position officially began in June of 2022, but the Office was ceremonially opened on Feb. 8th.”

Mount St. Joseph University President H James Williams, Ph.D., said the Mount is proud that Dr. Kroncke’s expertise and knowledge has put the Mount on an international stage.

president williams giving speech at podium
In photo: Dr. H. James Williams. Ph.D., Mount St. Joseph University President at podium.

“To have Estonia’s Honorary Consul on our campus is exciting and a testament to the quality of the Mount’s faculty,” Dr. Williams said. “On behalf of Mount St. Joseph University, I congratulate Dr. Kroncke for this achievement and thank him for the tremendous and well-deserved recognition he is bringing to the Mount. I also welcome and express my personal gratitude to Ambassador Prikk for attending this momentous and historic event.”

Ambassador Prikk is the former Permanent Secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defense who also served as the nation's Director of National Security.

Dr. Kroncke has deep connections to Estonia, a nation of 1.3 million people in northeastern Europe that borders Russia and was a former part of the Soviet bloc. He previously worked for Civic Education Project, EuroFaculty, and Tartu University in Estonia

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Dr. Kroncke joined a volunteer organization called the Civic Education Project. He was assigned to Tartu University, where he taught economics courses in the Public Administration Department.

Dr. Kroncke returned to Tartu in 2016 as a Fulbright Scholar. He met his wife, Kaie, while at the university and said that most summers, the couple travels with their daughters to the Island of Saaremaa in the Baltic Sea to visit Kaie’s family.

“Originally, I was there to teach public finance, but I have taught a wide array of economics classes,” Dr. Kroncke said. “As an economist, Estonia is particularly interesting because they quickly threw off the shackles of communism and became a prosperous nation. The people are very calm and even handed and there are low levels of corruption." 

Some other facts about Estonia that Dr. Kroncke mentioned are:

  • 50 percent of the country is covered by forest.
  • Estonia has the most start-ups per capita of any country in the world.
  • Kuressaare, which is the hometown of Dr. Kroncke’s wife, has more spas per capita than any city int the world.
  • The restoration of independence of Estonia is often referred to as the Singing Revolution because of a mass signing event that was held in 1988.

"The Mount has been a great place for my career,” Dr. Kroncke said. “They generously gave me the time to do a Fulbright. Many of the faculty members have outstanding international credentials and I am happy to be part of that. The Mount is a true member of the world community and offers a truly welcoming environment for people from all over the globe.”

About the Mount

As a Catholic institution rooted in the values of the Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Joseph University excels at serving the common good. Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students at the Mount are inspired to think beyond the classroom and redraw the bounds of what’s possible for their futures. This is accomplished through individualized educational experiences, a safe, secure campus environment, and an all-in commitment from faculty and staff to inspire students to reach their highest potential. The Mount fosters life-long learners who serve, care, and contribute to the world beyond their front doors.