Vladimir Yakunin was born in 1948. In 1972, he graduated from Leningrad Mechanical University, Department for Aircraft Construction. Doctor of Political Science.
He started his career as a junior scientist at the State Institute for Applied Chemistry. Then he proceeded with state service and worked as an engineer, then senior engineer for foreign relations at the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of USSR and head of a Division at the Abraham Ioffe Institute for Physics and Technology of the Academy of Sciences of USSR.
Later on Mr. Yakunin was first and then second secretary of the Soviet Diplomatic Mission to the United Nations. Then he headed the North-Western Inspectorate of the Presidential Control Directorate of the Russian Federation.
Since 2000 Mr. Yakunin was Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation. Since February of 2002 he worked as first Deputy Minister of Railway Transport and since October of 2003 as first Vice-President of Joint Stock Company Russian Railways. In June of 2005 Mr. Yakunin was appointed President of JSC Russian Railways. (stepped down in August 2015)
Today Mr. Yakunin is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Centre of National Glory, Saint Andrew the First-Called Foundation and Borodina Russian Centre-Merano.
He is Founding President of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” and Co-President of the French-Russian Dialogue Association. He is also Head of State Policy Department at the Politology Faculty at Lomonosov Moscow State University. Mr. Yakunin is a visiting professor of the Stockholm School of Economics.
Mr. Yakunin is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Russian World Foundation.
He is a member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entepreneurs and Chairman of the Commission for Transport and Transport Infrastructure. He is also Chairman of the International Union of Railways.