Sergei Ivanov (Сергей Борисович Иванов) was born January 31, 1953 in St. Petersburg. A Russian politician, he has previously served as deputy prime minister and defense minister. In December 2011 he was appointed head of the presidential administration.
Ivanov graduated from the translation department of the philology faculty of Leningrad State University in 1976, majoring in English and Swedish. He then completed a year at the KGB Higher School in Minsk, and a further four years at the Andropov Institute in Moscow. Early in his KGB career Ivanov met future Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also worked in foreign intelligence, holding various posts in Africa and Europe in the late 1970s. In the mid 1990s Ivan became one of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR)’s youngest generals.
In 1999, when former President Boris Yeltsin named Putin director of the Federal Security Council, the latter brought Ivanov, then a Lieutenant General with the FSB, to Moscow to head the council’s information-analytical department. Ivanov was also responsible for liaising with foreign security services and counter intelligence. The two men have been close allies since, and when Putin was picked by Yeltsin as prime minister, Ivanov replaced him as secretary of the Security Council. Ivanov served in this position from November 15, 1999 to March 28, 2001. He was then named minister of defense, a position he held until February 2007. In 2005 Ivanov was made a deputy prime minister, two years later becoming first deputy prime minister, which marked the end of his tenure as defense minister.
Ivanov's November 2005 appointment as Deputy Prime Minister made him second in line to the presidency, after Dmitry Medvedev. His February 2007 promotion, giving him a position equal to that of Medvedev while removing him from the much criticized and tarnished Defense Ministry, increased the chance that Ivanov would become Putin's successor. However, such speculation ended when his colleague Dmitry Medvedev was nominated to run for the presidency with Putin's backing. Ivanov also expressed his support for Medvedev's candidacy.
In May 2008 Ivanov was again appointed deputy prime minister, coordinating federal activities in the following areas: industrial development, the defense industry complex, transport and communication, science and innovation, border issues, military reserves and export control.
In 2010, following the dismissal of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, Ivanov was one of those tipped to succeed him to run the capital, although this post eventually went to Sergei Sobyanin.
Following State Duma elections in early December 2011, Sergei Ivanov was appointed head of the Presidential administration, replacing Sergei Naryshkin.
Ivanov holds the rank of retired lieutenant general. He also enjoys fishing and reading detective novels and is a fan of Moscow based CSKA basketball and football teams. He is married and has two sons.