Ash Center: Lessons from the Democratic Transition in Mongolia: 25 Years After Revolution


Thursday, March 8, 2018, 12:00pm to 1:15pm


Ash Center Foyer, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200 North

Join us for a discussion with Jargal Dambadarjaa, economist and media personality, about the democratic transition in Mongolia following the first multi-party elections in 1990. Mark Elliott, Vice Provost of International Affairs at Harvard University and the Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History, will moderate. Anthony Saich, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation Director and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, will provide an introduction. 

This discussion is part of the Ash Center's Democracy in Hard Places Initiative, a program co-directed by Scott Mainwaring, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor of Brazil Studies, and Tarek Masoud, Professor of Public Policy and Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations. Democracy in Hard Places aims to foster social science research on democratic experiments—both successful and failed—throughout the developing world to learn how democracy can be built and maintained in a variety of terrains. The intiative's seminar series brings to campus distinguished scholars and practitioners to analyze the conditions, institutions, and behaviors that enable democracy to survey in hard places.

Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa (known as Jargal DeFacto) is an independent economist and media representative of Mongolia. He is the host of DeFacto shows, weekly television interviews on VTV in Mongolia, featuring distinguished Mongolian, English and Russian-speaking guests from across the globe. Jargal also hosts Radio DeFacto, a radio talk show aired daily at 6:30pm on Business Radio 98.9FM.

He is a founder of The Defacto Institute, an independent research think tank ( which is issuing weekly newspaper ('The Defacto Gazette') with political and economic analysis of Mongolia in Mongolian, English and Japanese. It’s Mongolian edition is shared with readers every Wednesday, while English and Japanese edition goes to readers every Tuesday through their emails.

Since 2009, Jargal has been writing weekly articles on the current economic, political and social issues in the country, which are printed in Mongolian and English daily newspapers. He contributes to public opinion formation in the country through a range of formal and social media.

Jargal has a long career history in the industries including banking and financing, public office (Head of FIFTA, Board of Foreign Investment of Mongolia), tourism and petroleum sectors. His volunteer and board positions include Mongolians for Fair Taxes and Wise Spending, a taxpayers association (President), Mongolian National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation - MONPECC (General Secretary 2007-2016), Mongolian Association of State Alumni – MASA (President  2010-2013), Moscow State University Mongolian Alumni (President 2013-present), Silk Road Foundation (Chair 2013-2016) and The Economic Club of Ulaanbaatar (President).