Graduate of the month: Oyungerel Tsedevdamba
Ms. Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, 2003-2004 Fulbright Foreign Student, 2011 Eisenhower Scholar and Board Member of the NGO Local Solutions
A well-known public leader and human rights activist, Ms. Oyungerel Tsedevdamba played a leading role in encouraging Mongolia to pass laws to decriminalize defamation and libel and abolish the death penalty. She is also a 2003-2004 Fulbright Foreign Student who earned her Masters in International Political Studies at Stanford University. “By giving me the opportunity to undertake a comparative study of development policies and models,” notes Oyungerel, “the Fulbright program and Stanford education had a monumental impact on shaping the politician I am today”.
Following his Fulbright experience, Oyungerel participated in an Eisenhower Fellowship and continued to develop his political career. She worked as Assistant to the Prime Minister of Mongolia in 2004, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Mongolia in 2004-2006, and Policy Advisor on Human Rights and Citizen Participation to the President of Mongolia in 2009-2010. In 2011, Oyungerel campaigned and was elected MP.
In 2014, after serving as Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Oyungerel took a break from his political career. She did not stop her activism, however, and continued to help solve social problems through the NGO Local Solutions which she founded in 2007 to identify local solutions to global problems. Currently, she is leading the Change Our Toilets campaign to improve outdoor pit toilets that pollute groundwater and pose health and livelihood risks to residents of Ulaanbaatar’s ger neighborhoods and countryside. .
Oyungerel also sheds light on crucial social issues through his writings. She is the author of best-selling novels and several non-fiction books, including “The Green-Eyed Lama”, a bestseller for 13 years in Mongolia and its sequel “Sixty White Sheep”, which chronicles a nomadic community. a far cry from the days of the Great Repression of the 1930s to the 1940s and Choibalsan’s notorious first five-year plan.
Whether through his professional career in government or through his pen, Oyungerel continues to champion and lead positive social change.