The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, was born in 1940. He came to leadership in 1989 as first secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan in the former Soviet Union, and was democratically elected as the first president of independent Kazakhstan in 1991.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan inherited more than 400 nuclear warheads and the Semipalatinsk nuclear weapon test site. In August 1991, President Nazarbayev signed a historic decree to close the Semipalatinsk test site and worked with the United States to safely secure those nuclear warheads and nuclear materials. Under the leadership of President Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan has gone a long way from promoting nuclear disarmament using the platforms of international organizations to playing a leading role in building a nuclear weapons free world.
Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev enjoys high popularity among Kazakh citizens, which can be attributed to the country's impressive economic growth. In the 2000s, Kazakhstan’s economy grew sharply. In order to sustain the economic growth and develop country’s infrastructure, President Nazarbayev introduced New Economic Policy Nurly Zhol in November 2014. Nurly Zhol targets seven major areas of infrastructure development, such as energy, housing, industrial infrastructure, transportation and logistics, small and medium enterprises, public utilities and social infrastructure.
In April of 2015, Nursultan Nazarbayev was reelected to a five-year term as Kazakhstan’s President. President Nazarbayev was born on July 6, 1940 in the village of Chemolgan, Kaskelen District, Almaty region. In 1967, he graduated from the Highest Technical Educational Institution at the Karaganada Metallurgic Works.
He is a Doctor in Economics, Academician of the National Academy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, International Academy of Engineering, Russian Federation Academy of Social Sciences, Honorable Professor of the Al-Farabi Kazakh State National University, Honorable Member of the Academy of Science of the Republic of Belarus, Honorable Professor of the Lomonosov Moscow State University.
From 1960 through 1969, he worked at the Karaganda Metallurgical Works.
From 1969 through 1973, he was involved in the Party and Komsomol work in Temirtau of the Karaganda region. From 1973 to 1977, he was a secretary of the party committee at the Karaganda Metallurgic Works.
From 1977 through 1979, he served as secretary, and then second secretary of the Regional Committee of the Party in Karaganda.
From 1979 through 1984, he served as Secretary of the Committee of the Communist Party of the Republic of Kazakhstan. From 1984 through 1989, he was a Chairman of the Ministers Council of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.
From 1989 through 1991, he served as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. From February to April 1990, he concurrently served as Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.
Has served as Kazakhstan’s President since April 1990.
On December 1, 1991 the first national presidential elections were held where Nursultan Nazarbayev had been supported by 98.7 percent of electors.
On January 10, 1999 he was elected the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the alternative basis with 79.78 per cent of electors.
On December 4, 2005 he was again elected President of the Republic of Kazakhstan supported by 91.15 per cent of electors.
In 2010 President Nazarbayev rejected a call from constituents to hold a referendum to keep him in office until 2020 and, instead, insisted on an election to be held in April 2011. President Nazarbayev received 95.54 percent of the vote with 89.9 percent of registered voters participating. Many observers lauded the substantial progress toward Kazakhstan’s democracy.
Nursultan Nazarbayev is married to Sara Alpysovna. She chairs the ‘Bobek’ International Children Charitable Fund.
The President has three daughters. Dariga is a Doctor in Political Science. Dinara is chairing the Nursultan Nazarbayev Educational Fund. Aliya is a businesswoman, chairing the Elitstroy Construction Company.