G20 Sherpa Ksenia Yudaeva Clears the Way
Published: September 4, 2013 (Issue # 1776)
Ksenia Yudaeva is one of the youngest representatives of Russia’s economic elite. And while she may appear severe, dressed in a business suit and standing next to some of the world’s most important political and business leaders, Yudaeva is known for her candor and open-hearted smile.
With a range of experience that many eminent financial experts would envy, Yudaeva began her career after receiving a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996. Soon after, in 1999, she became the leading economist for the Russian-European Center for Economic Policy. By 2008, she was already Senior Advisor to the president of Sberbank — one of Russia’s largest financial institutions. A year later Yudaeva joined the first 100 members of the High–Potential Management Personnel Reserve (a program begun by then-President Dmitry Medvedev). And this was only the beginning.
After serving as an economic advisor to both Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, it came as no surprise that Yudaeva was appointed to one of the most important posts in public service — Representative of the Russian President in the G20 or, as it is officially called, the Russian Sherpa.
The word “sherpa” comes from the name of the Nepalese ethnic group — the Sherpa people — who serve as guides in the Himalayas. The name refers to the fact that the G20 sherpas clear the way for a head of state before a major summit.
On the eve of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, the Russian Sherpa spoke to The St. Petersburg Times in an exclusive interview on Russia’s priorities for the event, and revealed the most important points on the agenda.
Q: President Vladimir Putin has defined the priorities of Russia’s G20 presidency in 2013 as balanced growth and job creation around the world. Why were these two topics chosen as being the most significant?
A: These two topics require the most attention. Without resolving the challenge of slow economic growth, we cannot deal with any other global challenge. Weak global growth is a problem discussed at all levels, it is the problem of many countries and different markets. Steady growth is essential for stability, the reconstruction of financial markets and budgets. Job creation and economic growth are two issues that are very closely connected. Economic growth is possible only by overcoming employment issues by facilitating job creation. Another item is financing for investment. It is the key precondition for economic growth and a principal factor for job creation. All these areas are closely intertwined. We have three priorities — investment, transparency and regulation. These three priorities of the Russian presidency serve as a lens through which we discuss all eight areas of the G20 agenda in 2013.
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