President of Ukraine (1994-2005)
Leonid KUCHMA was the President of Ukraine from 1994 to 2005, and currently represents Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group that works on resolving the conflict in Ukraine, and is the founder of Presidential Foundation "Ukraine." He embarked on a government services career in 1990 when he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada from the Dnipropetrovsk region. In 1992, he was appointed as the Prime Minister of Ukraine, and a year later, voluntarily resigned. In 1994, as a Head of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, he was nominated and later elected as the President of Ukraine for the first term, and re-elected for the second term in 1999. During the 10 years of his presidency, Mr. Kuchma laid the background for the development of the state, market economy, and human capital of Ukraine. Leonid Kuchma signed the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union, 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. He began his career as an engineer at the Yuzhnoye Design Office in Dnipropetrovsk, where he worked his way up to the First Deputy General Designer. In 1986, he became the Head of Yuzhnyi Machine-Building Plant, the world’s largest plant for the production of rocket and space technology. He graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from the Dnipropetrovsk State University in 1960.