Most Influential Alumni in Mongolia


Most Influential Alumni in Mongolia

Источник: «The UB Post–Leading English News»

Within the specifics of Mongolian politics, there lies a fragile balance within several groups. Usually in any country, there is some university or school which supplies many influential politicians and government officials such as Harvard or Yale in the USA or Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In Mongolia during socialist times, the influential group of alumni was from Irkutsk city universities.

This famous institute was the Irkutsk Institute of National Economy. The current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. G. Zandanshatar is their alumni. Many leaders during socialist times graduated from Irkutsk, and even some of them stayed there for one year of Russian language training before going to other Soviet cities. During Soviet times, these people dominated the political and economic life in Mongolia.

Nowadays there is a trend of dominance among English speaking officials. This is understandable because Mongolian officials need English rather than Russian now. The most influential political and business leaders now are a group of former «diplomats». However, they are not exactly diplomats. It would be more correct to call them alumni of Moscow State Institute of International Relations or in Russian «Московский Государственный Институт Международных Отношений» (MGIMO).

This school has many famous and very often contradictory alumni. For example, the famous Soviet defector, KGB general Oleg Gordievsky is an alumnus of MGIMO.

The First President of the Republic of Kalmykia of the Russian Federation, Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is also their alumni. The current Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sergei Lavrov is an alumnus of MGIMO as well.

The Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. S. Batbold graduated from this school in 1986. This institute used to have four schools: the School of Journalism, the School of International Affairs, the School of International Law and the School of International Economics. Mr. S. Batbold received his bachelor’s degree from the School of International Economics. This school was preparing staff for foreign trade state companies of most socialist countries and for state banks. Of course, in socialist countries there was only one state mono-bank. Therefore, the future Mongolian Prime Minister, Mr. S. Batbold joined the Ministry of External Economic Affairs, and then he was sent to the Mongolian Export Import Company.

The former Minister of Internal Affairs, and current Member of Parliament Mr. Ts. Munkh Orgil graduated from the School of International Law in 1988.

The current Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Member of Parliament, Mr. D. Zorigt graduated from the School of International Affairs in 1994. According to his official biography, which is at, he speaks English and Russian. Although he studied Chinese in Moscow, Mr. D. Zorigt probably did not learn Chinese well enough to put in his biography. Of course, how will you learn Chinese well in Moscow? Also, Mr. D. Zorigt did not mention his studies in Australia and Japan. After his study in Moscow, he joined the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The current Member of Parliament and former Governor of the Central Bank of Mongolia (MongolBank), Mr. O. Chuluunbat graduated from the School of International Economics of Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

The current Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Mr. Y. Otgonbayar graduated from this institution as too. He was working at the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well.

Of course, the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is full of their alumni. This includes the current state secretary, directors of departments, most of Mongolian ambassadors who retired and who are still in service.

Even Robert Friedland hired some alumni from this famous school. For example, Mr. G. Batsukh is the newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ivanhoe Mines, who is also an alumni from MGIMO. Mr. A. Munkhbat, CEO of Ivanhoe Mines is also an alumni from MGIMO.

The famous Kazakh Mongolian diplomat and current Mongolian Ambassador to Kuwait, former member of Mongolian Parliament, Mr. K. Sairaan was studying at the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations with the current Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan, Mr. Kassyn-Jomart Tokayev.

Of course, this alumnus group has various representatives. It will be easy to imaginethem as a well connected group. In reality, they belong to different age groups and political-business groups. Nevertheless, at important times, they often choose their own alumni. For example, when there was an election within the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, many alumni chose each other.

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