Tymofiy Mylovanov Profile picture
Jun 19 20 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Today I am at LSE.

7 years ago at this spot,
I debated with myself whether to take the offer by the Kyiv School of Economics.

I didn’t know that accepting would lead to me becoming a minister 3 years later. All rational arguments were against accepting. I went irrational 1/ Image
Joining KSE was the best professional decision in my life.

These are the reasons why I felt at that moment that I shouldn’t accept.

I had a cozy job as a tenured faculty in the US at the University of Pittsburgh.

I just published my first top journal article.

There were two more publications in the pipeline that were looking very good. And indeed one of them published a year later proved to be my most influential academic paper in the career so far.

So, after 10 years my academic career started finally to develop. 3/
I had coauthorships, promising projects, papers to publish. I was getting invited to good places to give talks. My academic life was becoming intellectually exciting. I was finally getting some recognition. 4/
Against all that, there was the KSE offer.

The organization was bankrupt. There were about 20 students left. The donors pulled out. There were wage areas. The team was mostly demotivated, entitled, and lacked energy and ambition. There was a smaller group that kept it together.
But would they accept me? The salary was a fraction of my salary in the US. I would have to take an academic leave from my U.S. position, travel back and forth every month or so, and turn KSE around.

Everyone was trying to talk me out of it. 6/
There is no career, no future there for you, people would say.

You would lose what is starting to develop in your academic career now, said some others.

You have no management experience and this is an admin job. Not fun, why would you do that, asked someone else. 7/
Taking a low pay admin job at a failing institution in a developing country against a tenured position in a U.S. university at the moment when the pipeline of the papers finally starting to look good was a no brained decision.

I should have said no. 8/
And I did not. Three people convinced me to take this job.

There was @rbmyerson Roger Myerson. He said that there is a small, tiny chance I can change something significant in Ukraine. And that chance is more than most people are blessed with in this life. 9/
Then there was Yuriy Gordonichenko @YGorodnichenko who said that in the US we are foreigners and our influence is limited. But in Ukraine we can do some serious public good. He also gave an example of Sergei Guriev @sguriev who had served as the leader of the NES. 10/
Finally, there was Peter Chernyshov, at the time the president of Kyivstar, the largest telecom company in Ukraine . His argument was I could try myself out as a top manager and if I fail I can go back to academia. 11/
Since that I have turned the KSE around. It now has a building, some capital, bachelor programs, has become Alice see university, the number of students in in hundreds soon to be in thousands. It expanded from being a pure economic graduate program to a university 12/
With multiple offerings from CS to psychology to math. I am especially proud that this year we take the first class of undergraduate mathematicians. We will even have a law faculty.

KSE think is now the leading international authority on sanctions against Russia, 13/
Damages imposed by Russia in Ukraine, and approach to recovery.

Our KSE foundation has raised over 60 non dollars since the beginning of the war to support humanitarian activities and educational causes across Ukraine. We have provided bullet proof vests and built shelters. 14/
Our business school is a leading institution that helps businesses operate during the war.

We work all the time, we are burnt out, we are traumatized, but we are driven by a higher mission.

And this year we are increasing our cohort of students 5 times. 15/
I have also served in multiple government positions. As a minister I did a land market reform. It is really a bid deal in Ukraine. President Zelensky had the momentum and leadership to push forward the reform that for 20 years was stalled by vested interests. 16/
It was in my portfolio and I helped execute it.

I served on the council of the National bank of Ukraine during the reforms that brought macroeconomic stability to Ukraine. These reforms ensured there was no bank runs at the star of the war. 17/
I have held multiple other positions as CEO or board member / head at different state owned companies. I have made good and bad decisions. I have achieved political victories and made awful mistakes. 18/
The cost is high. I sleep little, gained weight, my health is much worse. I now have enemies. I miss academia and I almost don’t work on research. (I have a dream of coming back to do research once the war is over.)

But I write important policy papers and positions. 19/
I am a part of the conversation about the future of Ukraine and the world, however small my part is, and I am building an institution - Kyiv School of economics - that gives access to education. To people who will survive the war.

It is an honest life of an academic. 20X

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More from @Mylovanov

Jun 21
President Zelensky in London outlines Ukrainian position and priorities.

1. There are five pillars for peace: unity, stability, growth, security, democracy.

2. By safeguarding and rebuilding Ukraine, we are defending and fostering freedom globally 1/ Image
3. As the world is rife with historical and future indications of warfare, it is our responsibility to thwart further aggression and promote peace.

4. Economic growth and investment are founded on the bedrock of values and trust. 2/
5. Recovery, encompassing job creation, corporate profits, and GDP growth, benefits not just Ukraine but all countries striving for freedom. 3/
Read 14 tweets
Jun 21
The atmosphere at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London is overwhelmingly upbeat.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak opened the event with these commitments and positions:

1. Prior to the war, Ukraine was becoming a massive investment opportunity. 1/ Image
It was known as the breadbasket of Europe, a top exporter of iron and steel, a leader in energy, and a hub for tech startups​

2. Despite the war, Ukraine's economic opportunity remains intact, and the conflict has, in fact, underscored Ukraine's potential​ 2/
3. Ukraine has demonstrated an incredible spirit of strength, defiance, ingenuity, and innovation amidst the war

4. Ukraine's citizens and tech experts have developed unique solutions to bolster the country's defenses 3/
Read 13 tweets
Jun 21
I spent this morning at BBC World News Radio (200 countries, hundreds millions reached) with Owen @ojclegg, Vic and James.

The audience asked about political competition in Ukraine. Is this really true that Zelensky has 100% support. Where is the opposition?

Yes, there is. 1/ Image
There are 3 effects.

1. Rallying around the flag. Most people in Ukraine put aside their political difference for time being, mobilize and unite against the invader. A part of this is that people support the govt. of course. 2/
It is true also that the president, the national govt, the local authorities and the military have been doing a fantastic job. So, for all of these reasons there is a lot of support.

2. Is there an opposition? Yes. It is mostly represented by the previous president Poroshenko 3
Read 8 tweets
Jun 20
Ukraine reconstruction is impossible unless these 5 problems are resolved.

These are early impressions from the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London.

The problems of

1. stakeholders.
2. $500 billion
3. corruption
4. Russia assets confiscation.
5. The NATO and EU 1/
What I call is stakeholder problem is the conflict of interest in the international agencies between their stakeholders and the good of Ukraine.

Example (real-life, recent): An international agency complains it doesn’t have enough financing to provide for Ukraine. 2/
The govt of Ukraine finds those hundreds of millions needed from a friendly country. The agency refuses to accept it. Why? Because it doesn’t have enough personnel to process it. Basically, operational capacity problem.

Why don’t they put more people on Ukraine desk? 3/
Read 21 tweets
Jun 20
David Sacks on War in Ukraine and Biden Options: “Either escalate or admit defeat”.

Sacks position is profoundly undemocratic and oppressive.

Similarly to Putin he assumes the agency of Ukrainian people away and inflates Washington influence on this war.

Let’s explain. 1/ Image
I am Ukrainian, but also a U.S. person. So I understand both cultures.

Successful people in the US, both politicians and business people, believe that they rule the world. They don’t. People do.

That happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is happening in Ukraine 2/
Both Russia and the West have made this mistake repeatedly. The Kremlin assumes that it is just a bunch of bad people in Kyiv and if they are subdued or removed, the Ukraine would turn pro Russian.

This assumption predicated the decision to invade. 3/
Read 18 tweets
Jun 19
Ukraine update:

- Zelensky on counteroffensive: we have liberated some territory and lost none.

- The water levels in Kakhovka region have dropped, but 22 villages and towns in Kherson region remain flooded.

- Russia blocked a UN mission to Kakhovka region. 1/
- Majority of Ukrainians would like to keep Zelensky as the president, but change the parliament after the war.

- The ministry of foreign affairs of Ukraine: Hungary continues to keep Ukrainian POWs in isolation. We don't have access to them. 2/
- German Ministry of defense report: Ukrainian forces have capability to successfully carry out attacks deep in the territory controlled by Russia.

- Biden: Ukraine won't get an easy pass for NATO membership. 3/
Read 5 tweets

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