|Chairman of the State Great Khural|
|Assumed office |
1 February 2019
|Preceded by||Miyeegombyn Enkhbold|
|Chief Cabinet Secretary|
2017 – 2 February 2019
|Preceded by||Jamyangiin Mönkhbat|
|Succeeded by||Oyunerdene Luvsannamsrai|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade|
September 2009 – August 2012
|Prime Minister||Sanjaagiin Bayar|
|Preceded by||Sukhbaataryn Batbold|
|Succeeded by||Luvsanvandan Bold|
|Member of State Great Khural|
|Assumed office |
5 July 2016
|Born||18 March 1970|
|Political party||Mongolian People's Party|
Gombojav Zandanshatar or Zandanshatar Gombojav (Mongolian: Гомбожавын Занданшатар; born 18 March 1970) is a prominent Mongolian politician. He is a member of the Mongolian People's Party, and has served as Party General Secretary in 2012-2013.
He has been the Chairman (Secretary) of State Great Khural, the Parliament of Mongolia, since unanimously elected on 1 February 2019. He previously served as the Chief of Cabinet Secretariat of the Government of Mongolia (2017-2019), Minister for Foreign Affairs (2009-2012) and Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (2003-2004).
He was first elected to State Great Khural in June 2004, thus starting his service as lawmaker. Altogether, he served three terms as a Member of Parliament in 2004-2008, 2008-2012, and 2016-2020.
Zandanshatar’s early career started as Lecturer in the College of trade and industry (1992-1995), after which he worked at the Agricultural Bank of Mongolia, progressively on different positions as Economist, Restructuring manager, Director of Forex department, Director of Loan and Monetary Policy department (1995-1998).
Then he was appointed as the member of Receivership Team by the Central Bank of Mongolia at Agricultural Bank and later, after its restructuring, was promoted to Deputy Director of the bank (1998-2003). As a result of restructuring and reorganization the bank was recapitalized and successfully privatized in 2003.
The agricultural sector of the country was in serious crisis, especially the state of crop farming and flour production were in despair. Zandanshatar actively worked to mobilize state support and attract foreign aid to the sector. His Ministry’s team drafted state policy on farming and agriculture which was later adopted by Parliament. This work laid the foundation for “Atar III” campaign work that revived wheat and crop farming in Mongolia.
During his tenure, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been tasked to prioritize economic relations in foreign affairs. Subsequently, the country renewed its Foreign Policy vision in 2011, for the first time after 17 years. Also, in 2011-2013 Mongolia chaired the Community of Democracies.
As Minister, his schedule comprised official visits to almost 20 countries such as U.S.A., Japan, P.R. of China, South Korea, Italy, Germany, etc. He also started work to upgrade Mongolian-Japanese relations from Comprehensive partnership to Strategic partnership.
Zandanshatar took a series of measures to improve the ethics, discipline, and responsibility of diplomats at all levels.
As Chief of Cabinet Secretariat, Zandanshatar worked tirelessly on government priorities, which were to establish fair, transparent, and accountable structure for public officials and to strengthen the responsibilities and regulations on all levels of government agencies. An updated Law of Public Service was adopted by the Parliament in 2018 to be adhered to starting from 2019.
He summarized all development policies and resolutions issued until that time into the “Three pillars development policy” encompassing areas of public service reform, social reform, and economic reform.
Other notable achievements during his tenure include strong anti-corruption measures taken against illegal privatization of large mining enterprises and a 50 percent improvement in air quality of Ulaanbaatar as a result of implementing smokeless fuel supply to households.
In 2019, his predecessor, Miyeegombyn Enkhbold, was ousted after numerous demonstrations by his political opponents, and Gombojavyn Zandanshatar was proposed and later elected unanimously by the Members of the Parliament as Chairman (Speaker).
As Chairman he brought to successful completion the historic Constitutional Amendment process. The current Constitution of Mongolia was adopted in 1992 and since then, changes were necessitated by the socio-economic development of the country. Amendments to the main law were discussed throughout the last three terms of Parliament and Zandanshatar was an active force in the process of studying and preparing draft amendments. An important step in the discussion and drafting of the amendments was made in 2015 by way of introducing deliberative democracy and deliberative polling methods that Zandanshatar studied in depth while he worked as visiting scholar and fellow at Stanford University. He introduced this methodology of enabling citizens’ participation in main political changes and reaching political consensus in Mongolia.
Based upon the opinions of the Mongolian people that have been expressed by the deliberative polling process, the Parliament of Mongolia under the chairmanship of Zandanshatar has successfully adopted the Amendments to the Constitution on the 14th of November, 2019.
Zandanshatar graduated from Baikal State University in 1992 (formerly Institute of National Economy in Soviet Union with a diploma of Specialist in Finance. He also earned a Master’s degree in Economics and Finance (1992) from Baikal State University.
He is the recipient of Honorary Professorship from his alma-mater Baikal State University (2011), Mongolian University of Science and Technology (2019), and Ikh Zasag University (2019).
In 2014–2015 and 2016, Zandanshatar was a visiting scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University in California. He was impressed by the concept of deliberative polling developed by the center's director, James Fishkin, and translated his book on it, When the People Speak, into Mongolian. In 2017 the country officially adopted deliberative polling as a condition for constitutional changes.
Zandanshatar married his wife Ganbayaryn Otgongerel in 1992, and together they have four children.