Sunday, September 30, 2007

Profile: Dmitrii Anatolevich Medvedev

Dmitrii Anatolevich Medvedev, born September 14, 1965 in Leningrad), is a Russian politician and businessman. He was appointed first deputy prime minister of the Russian government on November 14, 2005. Formerly Vladimir Putin's chief of staff, he is also the chairman of Gazprom's board of directors, a post he has held for the second time since 2000.

Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987 (together with Ilya Yeliseyev, Anton Ivanov, Nikolay Vinnichenko and Konstantin Chuychenko) and in 1990 got his PhD in private law from the same university. In 1990 he worked in Leningrad Municipal Soviet of People's Deputies. Between 1991 and 1999 he worked as a docent in Saint Petersburg State University. In 1991 - 1996 Medvedev also worked as a legal expert for the Committee for External Relations of the Saint Petersburg Mayor's Office under Vladimir Putin.

In November 1993, Medvedev became the legal affairs director of Ilim Pulp Enterprise, a St. Petersburg-based timber company. In 1998, he was elected a member of the board of directors of the Bratskiy LPK paper mill. He worked for Ilim Pulp until 1999.

In November of 1999 he became one of several St. Petersburgers brought by Vladimir Putin to top government positions in Moscow. In December of the same year he was appointed deputy head of presidential staff.

Dmitrii Medvedev became one of the politicians closest to President Putin and during the 2000 elections when he was head of the presidential election campaign headquarters. From 2000 to 2001, Medvedev was chair of Gazprom's board of directors. He was then deputy chair from 2001 to 2002. In June of 2002, Medvedev became chair of Gazprom board of directors for a second time. In October 2003, he replaced Alexander Voloshin as a presidential chief of staff. In November 2005, he was appointed by President Vladimir Putin as First Deputy Prime Minister, First Deputy Chairman of the Council for Implementation of the Priority National Projects attached to the President of the Russian Federation, and Chairman of the Council's Presidium.

Dmitrii Medvedev is considered as a moderate liberal pragmatic, able administrator and loyalist of Putin. Following his appointment as First Deputy Prime Minister, some political observers still expect him to be nominated as Putin's successor for the 2008 presidential elections, despite Putin’s appointment of Viktor Zubkov as prime minister in September of 2007.

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