Mr. Kuchma graduated as a mechanical engineer from the Dnipropetrovsk State University in 1960. Beginning his career as an engineer in the Design Bureau “Yuzhnoye” in Dnipropetrovsk, he worked his way up to the first deputy general designer of DB “Yuzhnoye”. In 1986, he became a head of the world’s largest plant for the production of rocket and space technology “Yuzhnyi Machine-Building Plant”. In 1990, Mr. Kuchma embarked on a government services career,when he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) from the Dnipropetrovsk region. In 1992, he was appointed as the Prime Minister of Ukraine, and in 1993 he voluntarily resigned the position. In 1994, as the head of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, he was nominated as the Presidential candidate. The same year he was 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 independent Ukraine. Mr. Kuchma signed the 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 the “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 Tuzla Island. Currently, Mr. Kuchma represents Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group to resolve the situation in Ukraine. Mr. Kuchma was awarded high state awards, prizes and titles, as well as the highest awards of international organizations and foreign governments for the creation and development of missile and space systems. He is the founder of a charitable organization “Presidential Foundation “Ukraine”. Mr. Kuchma is also a Professor, Ph.D. in Technical Sciences, the author of a number of inventions, studies, papers and articles on missile and spacecraft technology; an honorary doctor of a number of Ukrainian and foreign universities, Member of several Academies of Sciences. Mr. Kuchma was born on August 9, 1938 in the village of Chaykine, Chernihiv oblast. He is married to Lyudmyla Kuchma and has daughter Olena.