February 7, 2017

Bio

I was born and grew up in the Republic of Buryatia, a region of indigenous people of the Mongolian origin 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 wrote 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 Gender Team at the United Nations Development Programme in New York where I conduct research and analysis on gender equality and sustainable development. 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 reading history (specifically of Eurasia), listening to opera (particularly Puccini), appreciating art (especially Impressionism, Expressionism 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.