Vladimir Yakunin is a Russian diplomat, a co-founder and Supervisory Board Chairman of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute. He also chairs the Department of State Governance at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Vladimir Yakunin graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Mechanics as a Mechanical Engineer in 1972. He worked with the Administration of the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Foreign Trade and as a department head at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute. He began his career in the diplomatic corps, serving at his country’s Representative Office at the United Nations (1985-1991). After that, Vladimir Yakunin occupied various positions in business and public service, including high-ranking positions in the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, Deputy Minister of Transport and first Deputy Minister of Railways.

In 2005, Dr. Yakunin was appointed President of Russian Railways, a position he held for 10 years. Landmark projects implemented under his leadership include high-speed railway lines, the transport infrastructure for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and international transport corridors. During this period, Dr. Yakunin also served as Permanent Chairman of the International Union of Railways (UIC), the first Russian to hold this position.

Dr. Yakunin, who holds a doctorate in political science, co-founded the World Public Forum – Dialogue of Civilizations (WPFDC) in 2003 as a result of his strong and long-standing interest in social sciences and international affairs. The same year saw the inaugural Rhodes Forum, an annual gathering of leaders from the business, academic, diplomatic, and political communities, including current and former heads of state and government, to discuss crucial issues facing the world.

In 2016, the WPFDC was transformed into the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC) with a headquarters in Berlin, with Dr. Yakunin as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. The DOC is an international think tank that works closely with partners including the UN, UNESCO, OECD, T20, SCO, and other international organisations, as well as other think tanks and the private sector.

Currently, Dr. Yakunin serves as the Head of the State Governance Department at Moscow State University, as a Visiting Professor at Peking University and a Visiting Professor of the Stockholm Business School. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Beijing Forum and International Council of the Institute of the Shanghai Academy of Sciences.
In Russia, he also leads a number of public, charitable, and educational initiatives.

He regularly speaks at major international forums and leading universities on his key areas of expertise, including public policy and governance, geopolitics, geo-economics, sustainable infrastructure development, international relations, and civilizational aspects of public policy.

Vladimir Yakunin was honored to plenty of state awards, both Russian and international, including the Order of the Legion of Honor, the Great Golden Order with a star for services to the Republic of Austria, the Order of Dostyk II degree of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Order of Service to the Italian Republic in the degree of the Great Officer, the Order of Civil Merit of the degree of “Grand Cross” of the Kingdom of Spain, State Award of the Republic of Serbia (Gold Medal of Merit) and other.