Olena Boytsun leads investment activities in Central and Eastern Europe as part of Omidyar Network’s Governance & Citizen Engagement initiative.
Olena brings multifaceted work and study experience in the nonprofit, business, and academic spheres in Europe and Asia, including UK, Germany, Russia, and China to her role at Omidyar Network. Prior to joining the firm, Olena worked as project lead at Goethe-Institut, Germany’s cultural institute with 160 branches worldwide and was part of one of the national projects of United Nations Development Program in Ukraine. At the Institute of World Economy and the International Relations of Academy of Science of Ukraine, Olena researched and authored publications on multiple factors influencing economic growth, especially in transitioning economies. She also led the strategy and business development efforts in construction, agricultural, and retail businesses at the KSG Holding in Ukraine as marketing and investor relations director. For many years Olena was also involved in chess management processes, including representing Ukraine at congresses of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and serving at FIDE Development and Events Commissions.
Olena is well known in Ukraine and internationally as an author of fiction and children’s books in Ukrainian and Russian. She is also a chess player and currently holds the Woman International Master title. In 2012 she founded “Chess for Children,” a nonprofit in Ukraine that helps children to uncover their potential through chess. Olena was awarded the State Order of the Princess Olga for her achievements promoting Ukraine internationally.
Olena graduated summa cum laude with a Master in International Economics from Dnipropetrovsk National University in Ukraine. She was an OSI/Chevening Scholar at Oxford University and a recipient of ERP DAAD scholarship for economics at Passau University in Germany. She also took advanced training courses in economics, social sciences, and social econometrics at the University of Amsterdam, University of Leuven, University of Koblenz-Landau, the China Foreign Affairs University, and the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.