Who are the new Georgian Ministers?

At least 3 of the Minister Nominees are newcomers for the Georgian society. Photo by N/Alavidze/agenda.ge
Agenda.ge, 22 Jul 2014 - 22:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

After a major reshuffle in the Georgian Government on Monday, the Prime Minister today introduced six new Ministers.

Some of these people have held Ministerial positions before, but at least three are newcomers and are leading a department for the first time.

Two Ministers from the previous Cabinet, Sozar Subari, Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Prison Systems and Elguja Khokrishvili, Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development have been reshuffled into new roles within Cabinet and will take up the posts of Minister for Internally Displaced Persons and Accommodation and the Minister of Environment Protection respectively.

Learn more about the new Georgian Ministers in our profiles below.

Otar Danelia: Ministry of Agriculture

Georgia’s new Minister of Agriculture is a man of many talents - Otar Danelia is a lawyer, an international relations expert and a language enthusiast.

Danelia has been promoted from his duties as the First Deputy Minister of Agriculture and was today named by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili as the new department’s Minister, replacing Shalva Pipia.

The 34-years-old Otar Danelia is an international relations specialist and lawyer and has a passion for languages – he can speak Georgian, Russian, English and French.

During his career Danelia has worked in various local and international businesses, including the position of the Project Manager in the Bank Republic (SOCIETE GENERALE GROUP) and the EDP assistant in 2001-2004 at the United Nations Operations in Cote D’Ivoire.

More recently, from 2013 to 2014, Danelia worked at the Interior Ministry as the Deputy Director of the Finance and Economy department before he took up the role of head of the Service Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

After being announced as the new Minister of Agriculture, Danelia this evening said the Ministry would continue along its projected course in terms of "harmonising relations” with Europe.

He noted many project were in the pipeline within the Association Agreement and promised all projects would be implemented.

"All the projects which were carried out have clearly affected Georgian villages but the Prime Minister stated very clearly that he needs changes,” Danelia said.

"I would say that the Ministry has skilled and qualified employees and therefore, we will continue the chosen course.”

He is married with two children.

Davit Shavliashvili: Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure

Davit Shavliashvili has been promoted in the Government shake-up and has been named by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili as the country’s new Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure.

The 30-year-old Shavliashvili is the youngest among the Minister Nominees introduced today.

This new role is not completely foreign to David Shavliashvili, who until now held the position of the Chairman of Roads Department in the Ministry of Infrastructure. Before this role he had another job within Government – he was head of the Natural Resources Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources – a term he held from 2012 to 2013.

The new Minister gained an education in the legal field and gained a Bachelor Degree from the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University Faculty of Law.

From the 2008 he worked at the leading positions at the commercial companies.

After Shavliashvili was presented as the Minister Nominee, he expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for his trust.

"Infrastructural projects continue, no one was stopped and of course will work on all of them with the higher speed. Roads were and will be our priority, "– he said to the media. Shavliashvili added that he will present strategy of the regional development in several days.

He is proficient in the English and Russian languages and is married with three children.

Gela Dumbadze: State Minister for Diaspora Issues

A man who represented Georgia in numerous countries abroad has been named by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili as the new State Minister for Diaspora Issues.

Gela Dumbadze has been promoted in the Government reshuffle and is the country’s new State Minister for Diaspora Issues. The 49-year-old diplomat is replacing former Diaspora State Minister Kote Surguladze.

Dumbadze graduated from the faculty of Philology at Tbilisi State University and worked in this field until 1996 when he pursued a career in diplomacy.

From 1998 to 2001 he worked in the Georgian Foreign Ministry in different roles, including First Secretary of Information and Public Relations Department, Press Centre Adviser and Foreign Deputy Director of the Information and Public Relations Department, before he graduated from the Georgian Diplomatic Academy.

Since his graduation in 2001 until now, he has represented Georgia in numerous countries abroad and worked in various Georgian Embassies, including the Georgian Embassy in Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Meanwhile for two years, from 2005 to 2007, Dumbadze returned to the Foreign Ministry and worked as the head of the Cultural Heritage and Diaspora Relations Division.

On another note he won several literature contests in Lithuania, Germany and Georgia and published two collection of novels – books titled "Yellow Trolleybus” and "Me, the runner”. His play "Night Guest” was staged in the Azerbaijan Georgian regional theatre in 2002.

Dumbadze also experimented as a painter and hosted his first exhibition in Kiev, Ukraine in 2012.

Earlier this year Dumbadze gained the role of Deputy State Minister for Diaspora Issues and has held this position until now, when he will become the new Minister.

He speaks English and Russian and is married with one daughter.


Giorgi Mgebrishvili: Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance

The country’s new Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance is a man with a background in law.

Mgebrishvili was educated in Tbilisi and graduated from Tbilisi State University’s faculty of law in 1996.

One year later he began an internship at the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs and as time progressed, he moved up the ranks and held many positions, including investigator (from 1998 to 2004) and deputy head of the Department of the State Security Agency in 2013.

Also in his career 44-year-old Mgebrishvili engaged in another field and worked in the Revenue Service within the Finance Ministry until December 2013.

From January 2013 until now he was the Governor of Kvemo Kartli region.

Giorgi Mgebrishvili was today named as Georgia’s new Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance. He replaced Sozar Subari, who was moved into the role of Minister of Refugees in yesterday’s Government shake-up.

After Mgebrishvili was presented as the Minister Nominee, he expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for his trust and said he would work hard to be a worthy Minister.

"My main motivation is to justify the trust of Prime Minister. I understand that it is one of the most difficult Ministries but I will talk about future plans after Parliament approves me,” Mgebrishvili said.

"If I become the Minister, nothing will be restricted. On the contrary, I advocate transparency of every process. Also I want to underline that all reforms, that were implemented by Sozar Subari, will continue and be brought to the logical end,” he noted.

Giorgi Mgebrishvili speaks English and Russian and is married with one son.


Elguja (Guja) Khokrishvili: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection

A politician with a flair for foreign languages has been named as the country’s new Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

Elguja (Guja) Khokrishvili has been reshuffled from his former role as the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure.

The 41-year-old Khokrishvili gained an international education focusing in economics and graduated with a Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Potsdam in Germany. He also has a passion for languages and can speak Russian, English and German.

He began his career abroad and worked at the University of Potsdam in many roles until 2010, when he moved to the Free University of Berlin and worked for a year as a project manager.

During this time he also worked as a consultant in the Team of Professionals for Programs and Education Development in Vancouver, Canada.

From 2011 he worked as an expert in the "Open Society – Georgia” fund and GOPA Consulting in Germany.

In 2012 he became a lecturer at Georgia’s Ilia State University and an Open Society Fund (OSF) expert.

Khokrishvili also worked as the head of the Municipal Development Fund (MDF) and the Municipality chairman of the Caucasian Institute for Economic and Social Research.

Meanwhile, during his most recent role as the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, his main challenge was overcoming the landslide disaster at Georgia’s Dariali Gorge.

At least three people died and several more remain missing following the landslide, which hit the Gorge in northern Georgia on May 17.

The landslide saw a vast amount of debris and mud slide into the valley, causing damage to vehicles and infrastructure. The collapse of the mountainside also blocked the Tergi riverbed, which created a dam and flooded the main transit road to Russia.

To get more info about the Dariali disaster you can read the blog "Dariali:Fight against desaster", written by Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze.

Sozar Subari: Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation

Sozar Subari – the 49-year-old politician, journalist and human rights activist – has been named the country’s new Minister of Minister of Refugees and Accommodation.

Subari was stripped of one Ministerial position and offered this new role following the recent Government reshuffle.

For the past almost two years Subari was the country’s Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance. He gained this role on October 25, 2012.

During his career he has served as the Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia. He was elected to this post by Parliament of Georgia for a five year term in 2004. During his tenure, the Ombudsman's role in Georgian society increased.

Subari was born in Chuberi – a mountainous village in the Svaneti region, and was educated in Tbilisi, where he studied history at Tbilisi State University. Later he studied theology at the Tbilisi Theological Academy.

After serving as a deacon from 1989 to 1991, Subari took part in the armed conflict in Abkhazia in 1993.

In the mid-1990s Subari was director of a public school in Boslebi village in Georgia’s Kvemo Kartli region.

After his time within the educations sector he became involved with Liberty Institute – an influential non-governmental organisation from 2000 to 2004. He also worked as a journalist and was a correspondent for Radio Liberty and an editor of the Tbilisi-based Kavkasioni newspaper.

In 2012, Subari became a member of the Georgian Dream party, founded by tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, and the coalition won the 2012 Parliamentary Election. He was named as the Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance on October 25, 2012.

In the later part of his career Subari’s Ministry was embroiled in a scandal when leaked information that revealed Corrections Department staff could be offered high bonuses. According to the leaked information, Corrections Department employees could receive large cash bonuses up to 40,000 GEL.

Today he is happily married with three children.