Irina Khakamada

Budget: $7 000 - $15 000
Languages: Russian, English, French
Geography: Russia & CIS countries

Irina Khakamada is a Russian politician who ran in the Russian presidential election, 2004. She is a member of The Other Russia coalition. Writer and TV host.

She graduated from the Department of Economy of the Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University in Moscow in 1978. She later obtained her PhD degree from the Faculty of Economics of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Irina Khakamada was an elected Duma representative from 1993 to 2003. She is commonly regarded as a democratic politician who is in a moderate opposition to the Russian government. She is known for criticizing the governmental actions during Moscow theater hostage crisis where she was involved as one of the negotiators.

Khakamada stated that the hostage takers were not going to use their bombs to kill the people and destroy the building. This opinion was supported by other negotiators including Anna Politkovskaya and by the subsequent events when the Chechens did not use their bombs. Khakamada was one of the leaders of the Union of Right Forces, when she decided to run in the Russian presidential election, 2004. She was not supported by her own party, because they regarded her as the only opponent of president Putin (all other candidates were not opposed to the President's policies). She received 3.9% of votes. After the election, Khakamada founded a political party, Our Choice, which eventually merged with the People's Democratic Union led by Mikhail Kasyanov and her.

She published book "Gender in big-time politics" describing her personal experience of work in Kremlin.

Nowadays Irina works on her books and gives public speaches.