Leonid Kuchma graduated as a mechanical engineer from Dnipro State University in 1960. Beginning his career as an engineer in the Design Bureau “Yuzhnoye” in Dnipro, he worked his way up to the first deputy general designer. In 1986, he became head of the world’s largest plant for the production of rocket and space technology “Yuzhnyi Machine-Building Plant”.
In 1990, Leonid Kuchma embarked on a government services career, when he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada from the Dnipro region. In 1992, he was appointed as the Prime Minister of Ukraine, and in 1993 he voluntarily resigned from the position. In 1994, as a head of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, he was nominated as the Presidential candidate and elected as the President of Ukraine for the first term, and re-elected for the second term in 1999.
During 10 years of his presidency, Mr. Kuchma laid the background for the development of the Ukrainian state, market economy and human development of the independent Ukraine. Leonid Kuchma signed an agreement on partnership and cooperation with EU, a major partnership agreement with NATO, as well as the Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Mr. Kuchma signed a "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership" with Russia, and promoted active economic cooperation within the CIS. As a result, Ukraine's relations with Russia and other CIS countries were built as mutually beneficial. Mr. Kuchma supported Ukrainian territorial integrity in 2003, when Ukraine won the territorial dispute with Russia over the island of Tuzla.
Currently, Mr. Kuchma represents Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group to resolve the situation in Ukraine. For creating missile and space systems, Leonid Kuchma was awarded high state awards, prizes and titles, as well as the highest awards of international organizations and foreign governments.
Leonid Kuchma is the founder of a charitable organization, “Presidential Foundation “Ukraine”. He is Professor, Ph.D. in Technical Sciences, author of a number of inventions, studies and articles on missile and spacecraft technology; honorary doctor of a number of Ukrainian and foreign universities, Member of several Academies of Sciences. Leonid Kuchma was born on August 9, 1938, in the village of Chaykine, Chernihiv region. Married to Lyudmyla Kuchma, with a daughter Olena.