Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, Human Rights and Public Participation Policy Advisor

Advisor Oyungerel is widely known to the Mongolian society as a passionate advocate for democracy, public speaker and author.

She was born and grew up in Huvsgul, a province in the Northern Mongolia. In 1983, after having completed her secondary and high education, Mrs. Oyungerel went to Sverdlovsk, Russia (the then USSR), to study at the Institute of National Economy and graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor’s degree in planning economy. She returned to her home province and worked as a sales manager of the province’s Supply and Procurement Company until 1991, when she was appointed the Chief of the Labor and Social Security Division of the Huvsgul province. In 1993 Oyungerel moved to Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, to serve in the National Social Security Office.

At that time, a young and passionate advocate of justice, Oyungerel was already determined to pursue politics to help the country establish democracy and rule of law. In 1991-1992 Oyungerel was the Chairperson of the Renaissance Party in Huvsgul province; later this party co-founded the National Democratic Party. Since 1997 to date Oyungerel has served on the Boards and Consultative Committees of major pro-democracy political associations and public organizations such as the National Democratic Youth Organization “New Generation” in 1997-2000, National Democratic Women in 1997-2000, National Democratic Party (which later co-founded the Democratic Party), Democratic Women’s Union and the Democratic Party.

Since 1996 Mrs. Oyungerel has worked closely with President Elbegdorj. In 1996-1998, Mrs. Oyungerel was the Personal Assistant to President Elbegdorj when he served as the Vice Chairman of the State Ikh Khural and, later in 1998 when President Elbegdorj was the Prime Minister of the country. In 1998-2000 Mrs. Oyungerel headed the staff of the Parliament majority faction (Democratic Union Coalition). In 2000-2003 she advised a Member of Parliament Lamjav Gundalai. In 2004 when President Elbegdorj was appointed the Prime Minister for the second time, Mrs. Oyungerel joined his team as his Advisor.

Advisor Oyungerel is an eminent public leader and a compassionate social advocate. She has initiated, established and lead a number of civil society and human rights organizations; to name but a few – Oyungerel is the President of Local Solutions Foundation, an Ulaanbaatar based NGO, was the first Executive Director of Liberty Center, a human rights watchdog. In 2004-2007 Oyungerel made strenuous efforts to help the civil society and its individual members to raise funds to run public activities.
Advisor Oyungerel’s academic records are impressive as well. She is a graduate of Stanford University (2004) majoring in international policy studies. Long before the Stanford, Oyungerel earned her MBA in international business in 1993 from the Moscow School of International Business. She was awarded the 2003 Fulbright Fellowship, and she is a Yale World Fellow as well (2006).

As an author Oyungerel edited the Legal Directory of Mongolia in 2003 and published a couple of books – Notes on My Study in America, the 2007 Best Book Prize winner by Internom, Nomadic Dialogues, which she co-authored with Jeffrey Falt, and a historical novel Green-Eyed Lama, which she also co-authored with Jeffrey Falt. The book received a keen response from readership, and was awarded the Best Book of 2008 Prize by Internom. At the moment, she is preparing for publication another host of books – Jobs and Occupations, compiled in cooperation with Oyungerel’s sister Mrs. Oyunchimeg, A Community Guide to Environmental Health, by Jeff Conant and Pam Fadem and translated into Mongolian by herself, and the English version of the Green-Eyed Lama novel as Shadow of the Red Star.

For her tireless and inspiring efforts to consolidate Mongolian democracy, to secure human rights and liberties and establish rule of law, Oyungerel was awarded the Order of Liberty by the Mongolian Democratic Union in 2003.
Oyungerel is married and has a son and a daughter.

Please visit www.oyungerel.org to learn more about Oyungerel, her thoughts, her writings, and enjoy a serene yet refreshing moment reading her poems.