About Us

The Elbegdorj Institute is an independent non-profit think tank that aims to strengthen and safeguard democratic values in Mongolia. The Institute was founded in 2008 by the former President of Mongolia Elbegdorj Tsakhia. We aim to build a robust and vibrant democracy by supporting the development of democratic institutions, practices, and citizen participation. To achieve our mission we initiate projects focused on public policy research, training and capacity building for civil society organizations, and advocacy efforts.


Elbegdorj Tsakhia is a public servant, a freedom fighter, and a policymaker from Mongolia. In 1990, he was one of the key leaders of the Mongolian Democratic Revolution that ended seven decades of one-party rule. He is known as the “Golden Sparrow of Democracy,” alluding to a bird that comes in spring after a long, harsh winter. Since then, Elbegdorj has continuously served Mongolia as a Member of Parliament four times, as Prime Minister two times, and was elected President for two terms (2009 - 2017). He was born in isolated Western Mongolia as the youngest of eight sons from a humble traditional nomadic beginning.

As Prime Minister, Member of Parliament, and President, Elbegdorj prioritized strengthening the rule of law in Mongolia, fostering social justice, fighting poverty, combating corruption, supporting environmental sustainability, and advancing vibrant participatory democracy. He has also initiated and led many social, economic, and governance reforms.

Aiming to consolidate democracy in Asia, President Elbegdorj established the Asian Partnership for Democracy initiative within the confines of the Community of Democracies, the largest international organization that drives the global democracy agenda, which Mongolia presided in 2011-2013. Under the chairmanship of the Community of Democracies, he developed a plan to promote civil society and advocate women’s rights, particularly political ones.

Now he serves as the International Commission against Death Penalty (ICDP) Commissioner, Patron of the World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDF), Member of the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid, and President of the World Mongol Federation. In 2022, he became a member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working for peace, justice, human rights, and a sustainable planet. In Mongolia, he continues his work to improve public policy, governance, and democracy through the Institute. During his tenure as President, he also focused on climate change, air and soil pollution impacts.

Elbegdorj holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government (2002) and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Land Forces Military Academy of Lviv of former USSR (1988). Since 2023, he has been a Bernard and Susan Liautaud Visiting Fellow at Stanford University Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, focusing on democracy, disarmament, and governance across Asia.