Loving Ukraine, committed to reforms – who are Ukraine’s foreign-born ministers

Three ministers of Ukraine’s newly-appointed government are recently naturalized citizens of the country. EMPR gives a brief insight into the background of the foreign-born Ministers of Finance, Healthcare, Economic Development and Trade.

Ukrainian American Natalie Jaresko has been living in Ukraine for over 20 years. Prior to her appointment as the Finance Minister Mrs.Jaresko was serving as the Chief Executive Officer at “Horizon Capital” investment company that she co-founded. “Having grown up in a Ukrainian family in the United States, and spending my adult life living and working in Ukraine, I am honored to accept Ukrainian citizenship. I am committed to Ukraine. With my heart, and with my work. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the Ukrainian people,” she said.

Natalie Jaresko holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor of science degree in accounting from DePaul University in Chicago.

Before assuming the post of the Minister for Economic Development and Trade Lithuania-native Aivaras Abromavicius was an investment banker and has lived in Kyiv since 2008. He was a partner and fund manager at the East Capital asset management group. He used to work and live in Estonia, Sweden, Russia, the US and is experienced with the investment sector in Eastern European countries.

“I am proud and honored to be granted Ukrainian citizenship. I’ve been married to Ukrainian for 10 years. All 3 kids were born in Kyiv and feel very patriotic about this beautiful country that is experiencing challenging times. I hope my efforts and experience will help Ukraine reach a totally different level of economic development, bring transparency and openness to government’s work and finally do the much needed reforms fast,” Mr.Abromavicius said.

Healthcare Minister Aleksandr Kvitashvili served as the Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia between 2008 and 2010, under then-President Mikheil Saakashvili. He claimed to have been working on reforms in Ukraine three months already before his appointment, “but my love to this country lasts much longer,” the Minister notes. “I’ve accepted the proposal to work in the Ukrainian Government because of my deep respect to Ukraine and its people. I am proud to become a citizen of this great country with a great future”.

Read more on Ukraine’s three naturalized ministers in a RFERL article.

Photo (L-R): Aivaras Abromavicius, Natalie Jaresko, Aleksandr Kvitashvili.

Photo credit: Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

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