Board of Directors
Viktor Sheinis, Ph. D.
Alexey Avtonomov, Ph. D.
Valentin Mikhailov, Ph. D.
Currently, there are six people on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Election Systems Development. They are:
Viktor Sheinis, Ph. D.
Born 1931 in Kiev, Ukraine, Viktor Leonidovich Sheinis graduated from the Faculty of History at Leningrad University in 1953. In 1957 he was admitted to the graduate school of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences from where he was expelled a year later for opposing the policy of the Soviet State in Hungary.
During the period of 1958-1964 Viktor Sheinis worked as a metal worker at the Kirov (formerly Putilov) plant in Leningrad. In 1966 he defends his MA thesis on «Economic Development of Portugal and Portugese Colonies» at the Faculty of Economy of Contemporary Capitalism at the Leningrad University and becomes Chair of the Faculty where he serves until 1975.
In 1975-1992 Mr. Sheinis works at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow. In 1982 he defends his Ph.D. dissertation on «Economic Growth, Social Processes, and Differentiation of Developing Countries».
Since 1987 Dr. Sheinis has been an active participant of the Russian political process. In 1990 he was elected people's deputy of the RSFSR in the Moscow region. During the election campaign he became one of the founders of the Democratic Russia organized movement and co-wrote its election program. In November 1991 he was elected member of the Supreme Soviet (standing body of the Congress) and appointed member of the Parliamentary Committee on International Affairs and External Economic Relations in 1992. Dr. Sheinis participated in the development of the new Russian Constitution and was head of the group preparing electoral laws.
In fall of 1993 Dr. Sheinis became a co-founder of the electoral bloc «Yabloko» (liberal-democratic orientation). As member of the «Yabloko» bloc Dr. Sheinis was elected State Duma (lower house of the Russian Parliament) deputy twice, in 1993 and 1995. In 1995-1999 Dr. Sheinis was member of the State Duma Legislation and Judiciary Reform Committee. As member of the Russian Parliament Dr. Sheinis paid special attention and focused many of his activities on the development of a new legislation governing elections. In addition, he participated in activities targeted at the development of solutions to international problems. Dr. Sheinis was member of the Parliamentary Commission for Investigation of Causes and Circumstances of the Chechen Crisis. He was always in favor of a political and peaceful solution to the situation in the Republic of Chechnya.
Dr. Sheinis has authored over 200 scientific publications on contemporary socio-economic status of developed capitalist states and «third world» countries and participated in numerous international conferences. In recent years he has become known as a political columnist.
Dr. Sheinis is a member of the Moscow Club of Intellectuals, which was founded by Academician Andrey Sakharov in 1988.
Alexey Avtonomov, Ph. D.
Alexey Avtonomov graduated from the Law School of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations in 1981. In 1984 he received from his Ph. D. in law from the same institution. In 1984-1994 Dr. Avtonomov worked as lecturer and assistant professor of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations. In 1990-1992 - he is adjunct professor of the Moscow State University, Faculty of Sociology, Department of General Political Science. In 1994 he appointed Director of the Legal Department of the Foundation for the Development of Parliamentarism in Russia where he serves until now.
Dr. Avtonomov has participated in the development of the Law on NGOs of the Republic of Kazakhstan (the law is now in force). In addition, he took part in the drafting of the Russian laws on NGOs (now in force), charities (in force), on political parties (passed by the State Duma but vetoed by the President), on lobbying (not yet adopted), on volunteer activity (not yet considered), as well as on legal guarantees of the political opposition activity, and non-profit foundations. In 1997 Dr. Avtonomov was appointed member of the Expert Council on the Constitutional Law under the RF President where he serves until now. Since 1995 Dr. Avtonomov is member of the Editorial Board of the journal «Representative Power: Monitoring, Analysis, and Information».
Dr. Avtonomov speaks five languages.
Sergey Grigoriants was born in Kiev in 1941. Student of the Journalism Department of the Moscow State University, he was expelled at the instructions of KGB. In 1964-1974 Mr. Grigoriants worked as a free-lance literary critic specializing on the Russian literature of the XX century. In 1975 he was arrested for anti-Soviet propaganda and spent the next five years in camps and prisons. In 1980-83 he was editor and publisher of an underground information bulletin on human rights, «V». In 1983 he was arrested again for «anti-Soviet activity» and was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of exile. He was released in 1987 from Chistopol jail following Andrey Sakharov's letter to Mikhail Gorbachov. In 1987-1991 Mr. Grigoriants was editor and publisher of the first Soviet independent magazine «Glasnost». For his contributions to the promotion of glasnost in Russia and human rights activities he was awarded with the «Golden Pen of Freedom» award in 1988, and with Jamestown Foundation and Bavarian Landtag Awards in 1989. In 1990 he becomes Chairman of the «Glasnost» Foundation in which capacity he continues to serve at present.
In 1995 the son of Mr. Grigoriants, Timophey, was assassinated which caused his wife and daughter emigrate to France.
In 1995 Mr. Grigoriants was initiator and Chairman of the Organizational Committee of the International Non-governmental Tribunal on War Crimes and Crimes Against the Humanity Committed during the 1994-1996 War in Chechnya.
Valentin Mikhailov, Ph. D.
Valentin Mikhailov was born in 1944 in Kirov and graduated with Magna cum Laude from the Physics Department of the Kazan State University. He then received his Master's degree in Physics and became a professor of the Kazan Institute of Physics and Technology of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1966 where he served until 1990. He received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1974. Dr. Mikhailov authored over twenty publications on theoretical physics which appeared in a number of Moscow and European scientific journals.
In 1990-1994 Dr. Mikhailov was deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Tatarstan where he was member of the legislation commission. Together with I. T. Sultanov he co-authored an alternative draft of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan. In 1991-1994 Dr. Mikhailov was member of the State Commission of the Republic of Tatarstan on Privatization and Management of the State Property.
In 1994 Dr. Mikhailov was elected deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation from the Privolzhsky single-mandate election district (city of Kazan). When deputy, he was member of the Committee on the Federation Affairs and Regional Politics. He observed elections of Landtag deputies in Bavaria (Munich), and Supreme Soviet deputies in the Republic of Karabakh.
In 1995 Dr. Mikhailov authored one of the two drafts of the federal law on the separation of authorities between bodies of the state power of the Russian Federation and those of its subjects.
In addition, Dr. Mikhailov authored a number of publications on human rights issues, election administration, federalism, negotiation processes between the federal and regional power bodies, as well as compliance of regional legislative acts with those of the Federation.
Since 1996 Dr. Mikhailov is Chairman of the Kazan chapter of the public organization «International Human Rights Assembly». Since February 1998 the Kazan chapter of this organization has been implementing a voter education project funded by the government of the Netherlands.
Alexander Yurin graduated from the Moscow State Institute for International Relations in 1985. Since 1990 he has been working on a number of USAID-funded projects implemented within the framework of the technical assistance initiative of the US government targeted on the Russian Federation and CIS. In 1994 Mr. Yurin becomes Deputy Director of the Moscow Representative Office of the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES). Under his guidance and supervision the initial groundwork for the foundation of a new organization - Institute for Election Systems Development (IESD) - was completed. In 1999 the IESD was registered with Russian authorities as a non-governmental nonpartisan organization. Currently Mr. Yurin is Executive Director of IESD.