Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj

Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (Mongolian: Цахиагийн Элбэгдорж, Mongolian Latin alphabet: Cahiagiin Elbegdorƶ, sometimes referred to as Elbegdorj Tsakhia, born March 30, 1963) is the President of Mongolia. He won the election on May 24, 2009. The candidate of the Democratic Party, he became Mongolia's first president to never have been a member of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and the first to obtain a Western education. Elbegdorj was one of the leaders of the peaceful democratic revolution in 1990 that ended more than 65 years of communist rule.

Elbegdorj has been the Prime Minister of Mongolia twice, the vice speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia once, the majority leader of the parliament once, and a member of parliament four times. He is known as a pro-democracy, libertarian politician. Elbegdorj is also the founder of the Ardchilal (English: Democracy) newspaper.

Childhood and Education
Elbegdorj was born into a herding family in Zereg sum, Khovd on March 30, 1963. His father, M. Tsakhia, was a veteran of Mongolia's border conflict with the Empire of Japan that resulted in the 1939 Battle of Khalkhyn Gol. Elbegdorj finished the sum's eight-year school in 1979. Afterwards, his family moved to Erdenet, and he graduated from Erdenet's No.1 ten-year school in 1981.

In 1981/82, he worked in the Erdenet copper combine as a machinist, and in 1982 was drafted into military service. For heading a Revolutionary Youth League group in the army, he was awarded with the possibility to study Journalism and Marxism-Leninism at the Military Political Institute of the USSR in Lviv (Ukraine) from 1983 on. He graduated in 1988 and then worked for the Mongolian army newspaper Ulaan Od (Red Star).

After his first term as prime minister, he spent a year at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Economic Institute, earning a Diploma in 2001. Then Elbegdorj studied with a full scholarship of Harvard University and graduated from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in 2002.

Marriage and Family
Elbegdorj and Bolormaa Khajidsuren got acquainted to each other at an ice breaker students’ party in Lviv, Ukraine. They were married when they were students and their first baby was born in Lviv. They have five children: four sons and an adopted daughter.

In addition, Elbegdorj and Bolormaa have helped over 300 orphans through Bolormaa’s Bolor Foundation. The Bolor Foundation opened savings accounts for most of the children. Elbegdorj and Bolormaa are foster parents to around 20 children of the “Baby Bear” class of the foster care state center in Ulaanbaatar. Elbegdorj and his wife Bolormaa visit their foster children as often as they can, taking care of the children for their all needs including medical, piano class and dance class for several years.

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