I was born and grew up in the Republic of Buryatia, a region of indigenous people and a centre of Buddhism in Russia, on 9 October 1983. My hometown – Ulan-Ude – lies along the Trans-Siberian Railway and is a few hours away from Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake. When I was an undergraduate student at St. Petersburg State University, I used to take a 4-day train ride from Moscow to Ulan-Ude every summer, which was the most economical way to get home.
Since childhood I have been driven to learn more and see the world. It is this thirst for knowledge that motivated me to apply to Cambridge University after my year abroad in Beijing. I was awarded a full scholarship for my MPhil and then my PhD studies at Cambridge which I completed at the age of 26. Based on my experience studying at Cambridge, I published a book «The Star of the Nomadess: In Harmony between the East and the West», for which I received an award for the best publication in 2016 by the journal “Baikal” (Buryatia).
I have worked in academia and various international organisations, including the World Bank, the European Commission and the United Nations. Currently, I work in the Strategic Policy Unit of the United Nations Development Programme in New York where I conduct research and analysis on sustainable development issues such as poverty reduction, social inclusion, gender equality and active ageing. Recently I was honoured to become a laureate of the Chevening award by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for my contribution to international development.
I speak 7 languages, including Buryat, Russian, English, Chinese, French, Burmese and Spanish, and am a member of the Advisory Board of an interdisciplinary research project by Cambridge University on “Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies”.
In my spare time, I love listening to opera (particularly Puccini), appreciating art (especially Impressionism and Surrealism), studying Buddhist philosophy, doing sport (swimming, skiing) and cooking (both Buryat traditional dishes and new cuisines).
My long-term vision is to make a meaningful contribution to the global community and, by doing so, raise the profile of my homeland Buryatia. In the meantime, I am happy to share my knowledge, skills and experience.