New York Democracy Forum: Tsakhia Elbegdorj and Roza Otunbayeva

September 22, 2011
01:00 pm - 12:00 pm

Sponsored by The Foreign Policy Association and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Featured Speakers include:

Robert C. Miller, Chairman, the Hurford Foundation
H.E. Roza Otunbayeva, President of Kyrgyrzstan
Carl Gershman, President, the National Endowment for Democracy
H.E. Tsakhia Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia
Noel V. Lateef, President and CEO, the Foreign Policy Association


H.E. Tsakhia Elbegdorj was elected President of Mongolia in May 2009 and took office in June 2009. He has served four terms in Parliament, holding the positions of vice speaker and majority leader, and two terms as Prime Minister.

In 1990, he was a leader of the peaceful democratic movement that ended over 65 years of communist rule in Mongolia.

As a Member of Parliament, he codrafted the country’s new constitution, which provides guarantees for human rights, freedom, democracy, and a market economy. He also founded in 1990 Mongolia’s first independent newspaper, Democracy, and helped to establish the country’s first independent television station. The government of Kyrgyzstan sent lawmakers to Mongolia in April 2011 to study the law on press freedom that he worked to initiate and institute.

Mongolia’s first Entrepreneurs Association was founded and directed by Tsakhia Elbegdorj. In 1991, this association helped to transfer livestock ownership from socialist collectives to private herders. For almost half of Mongolia’s population, this livestock constituted their first private property.

In 2009, he established the Citizens’ Hall podium for Mongolians to express their views on issues under consideration by the government. He continues to work for the transfer of power from the central government to local governments and to introduce direct democracy. His other priorities include fighting poverty and corruption, and he was an organizer of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative. In Mongolia, he established the country’s first Judiciary Reform and Justice Forum, which was held in April 2011.

In July 2011, Tsakhia Elbegdorj began a two-year term as president of the Community of Democracies, an intergovernmental organization of democracies and democratizing countries that works to strengthen and deepen democratic norms and practices worldwide. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Climate Change and has lectured on environmental protection abroad. He was instrumental in organizing the June 2011 international conference on water security in Mongolia.

Tsakhia Elbegdorj received a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Land Forces Military Academy in the former Soviet Union and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Welcome by Robert C. Miller
Mongolia and United States National Anthems performed by the West Point Band’s Regimental Brass Quintet
Introduction of H.E. Roza Otunbayeva by Carl Gershman
Remarks by H.E. Roza Otunbayeva
Introduction of H.E. Tsakhia Elbegdorj
Presentation of the New York Democracy Forum Presidential Medal to H.E. Tsakhia Elbegdorj
Keynote Address by H.E. Tsakhia Elbegdorj
Adjournment by Noel V. Lateef

Remarks by NED President Carl Gershman :: MORE