Cabinet Reshuffle: Dambadorj for Foreign Education Minister

By Julian Dierkes

With all the scandals surrounding corruption in the past month and the no-confidence vote against PM Khurelsukh failing, it’s time for a re-imagining of a previous post. I’m expanding my campaign from trying to become the foreign minister to trying to become the foreign education minister.

Warning: attempts at (nerdy Mongolian politics) humour below. Note that this is based on a Twitter thread I posted on Nov 30.


Ts Tsogzolmaa voted for the motion of no-confidence against PM Khurelsukh in parliament on Nov 30. What makes that surprising is that Tsogzolmaa is a member of PM Khurelsukh’s cabinet where she serves as Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports. Khurelsukh appointed her to cabinet, but she now voted against him in the no-confidence vote. Would you agree that it is unlikely that she will remain in cabinet? In addition, a number of cabinet members are tainted by the SME Fund scandal, so perhaps we are due for a cabinet shuffle or Khurelsukh II?

And if a cabinet reshuffle, why not try something new, namely me as Foreign Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports?

My Qualifications to become Foreign Minister of Education

Biography/My Story

I grew up in Berlin, far Northwestern Mongolia, and thus practically Khovd with its strong tradition of powerful political leaders.

I am definitely not from one of the “30 families”, so move over, Nomtoibayar.

I enjoy lactase persistence.

I don’t wear a double deel (давхар дээл), but I do like to wear my themo-deel when it’s cold.

It has always struck me as odd how important candidates’ educational biographies seem to be in political campaigns, so here are the universities that I have attended or taught at:

  • Univ of California at Berkeley (BA)
  • International Christian University
  • Sophia University
  • Free University of Berlin
  • Princeton University (MA and PhD)
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of British Columbia (Assistant, then Associate Professor).

I speak some languages fluently (German, English, Japanese) and some if need be (French). I understand a surprising amount of Mongolian, but am shy about speaking it. Becoming Foreign Education Minister would be a great opportunity to improve my Mongolian!

I do try to have a sense of humour on occasion (like here), though most of my jokes flop in English for linguistic reasons or as too nerdy.

I have dedicated myself to supporting Mongolian graduate students.


Subject Knowledge Education:
Past research on history textbooks (Japan and the Germanies), legal education (Japan), and supplementary education (Japan), democratization (Mongolia).

Administrative Experience Education:
Currently Associate Dean at a top-40 global university (UBC).

I would be willing change my adopted name from Dumbledorj to Dambadorj (дамбадорж) to demonstrate my willingness to defend Mongolian culture against the onslaught of Western pop culture.

I am resistant to bribery and corruption because I’m hoping to be so good in this life that I’ll be reborn as a Mongolian throat singer in my next life.

I am definitely a social scientist and will pursue evidence-informed policy!

I have supported the Mongolian Olympic Team as a volunteer in Vancouver and London and hope to do so again at Tokyo 2020.

I have played field hockey for over four decades, this season I even scored a goal!


  • expand and institutionalize academic freedom
  • review tuition for state universities and budgets based on tuition only
  • no political appointments to education positions
  • create Mongolian-Canadian Friendship School
  • promote field hockey as an Olympic sport
  • build up applied research capacity, focused particularly on solar power and how cold can aid carbon sequestration
  • public funding for Mongolian ethno-pop (Javkhlan will support my nomination!) and ethno-rap
  • reusable cups at all Ministry-events to reduce the number of plastic water bottles
  • commitment to bike commuting (instead of chauffeured car) for summer months

Support my Campaign

Use #ДамбадоржболовсролСайд


About Julian Dierkes

Julian Dierkes is a sociologist by training (PhD Princeton Univ) and a Mongolist by choice and passion since around 2005. He teaches in the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He tweets @jdierkes
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