Columbia University World Leaders Forum
His Excellency Nambaryn Enkhbayar, President of Mongolia
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
4:30 PM-5:30 PM
On Wednesday, October 24 th President Nambaryn Enkhbayar of Mongolia visited Columbia University for a Weatherhead co-sponsored World Leaders Forum. His Excellency, who was introduced by WEAI director Myron L. Cohen, gave a speech on Mongolia’s democratic reform and the past and future of Mongolia’s economic development. President Enkhbayar noted the devastating effects that the dissolution of the Soviet Union had on Mongolia, but described present-day Mongolia as a country flourishing with independent political parties, ideologies, religions, and media. In addressing the future economic development of his people, President Enkhbayar spoke of the necessity during the first stage of economic development to take advantage of the country’s rich mineral deposits, encourage personal savings, promote the middle class, improve the educational system, and make infrastructural improvements for both citizens and the growing tourist industry.
Finally, President Enkhbayar fielded questions about political corruption and accountability, Mongolia’s relationship with Russia, China and the United States, and the role of international financial institutions in Mongolia’s development.
This event was part of the Columbia University World Leaders Forum series. Details about the WLF series as well as a video of President Enkhbayar’s address can be accessed at http://worldleaders.columbia.edu/events.html#mongolia
Nambaryn Enkhbayar was born on June 1, 1958, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city. He became president of Mongolia on June 24, 2005 after winning the May 2005 elections. President Enkhbayar was elected to the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia in 1992 and served as minister of culture from 1992 to 1996. He later served as secretary general and then chairman of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party from 1996 until his presidential election in 2005. President Enkhbayar also served as the prime minister of the Parliament from 2000 to 2004 and speaker of the Parliament from 2004 to 2005.
From 1975 to 1980, Presdient Enkhbayar attended Moscow’s Institute of Literature and received a Bachelor of Science in literature and language. He also completed literature and English training courses at Leeds University in the United Kingdom. President Enkhbayar holds a first grade English language proficiency certificate from Cambridge University and has translated major Russian and English writers, including Tolstoy and Dickens. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from a number of universities, and is a well-known translator and columnist.
President Enkhbayar is married to Onon Tsolmon and has four children.