MPP provides Georgian civil servant with the theoretical background to inform the next stage of his career.
Irakli Kotetishvili came to the Blavatnik School as a recipient of the Oxford-David H Pollock and Tomislav Zegarac Memorial Scholarship. It is a scholarship for Master of Public Policy students who are already distinguishing themselves as leaders, catalysts for change or for people who are making a meaningful difference through a commitment to public service to individuals, organizations, or governments. All successful applicants to the MPP are automatically considered for this award, and there is no separate application process.
As part of the admissions process to the MPP an interview (via Skype) is normally required. Irakli described this experience: “The interview was with Professor Monica Toft (Tutor for Admissions) and Michaela Graham (Programme and Alumni Manager). I was sitting in my office in the middle of the day. I set my internal phone on a silent mode and I locked my door. It was half an hour of the most important time of my life!”
Irakli, from Georgia, is a trained lawyer, who has spent the past eight years working for the Georgian Government, first in the Ministry of Justice as Chief of Staff, and then as a Presidential appointee in the position of Head of the Civil Service Bureau, which is responsible for reforms and innovations in the Georgian civil service. He worked mainly on introducing and implementing good governance programs, dealing with anti-corruption and transparency projects.
His experiences working directly within government led him to apply for the Master of Public Policy:
“I always felt I was lacking some theoretical background and so the course at the Blavatnik School was offering me a brilliant opportunity to dive deep into the theoretical topics which I was dealing with on a daily basis in my office.”
Irakli has had a very positive experience at the Blavatnik School. “This is a fantastic place to be, both in academic life as well as social life. The main jewel of this course is the people, both in terms of lecturers and in terms of the students. You find a diverse range of backgrounds in our course - from NGO experience, deputy ministers, human rights activists, as well as former employees of big corporations. It is very intense but very rewarding. You feel like you have advanced in your profession so much at the end of each term. You feel that all the effort that you carried out in the previous term was worthwhile. We feel like we are growing as professionals.”
After graduating from the programme Irakli hopes to take his experiences in government and his new knowledge and skills to help others. “I would like to help advise governments, particularly governments in transition in Africa or Central Asia. Georgia has tremendous experience in setting up transparency and anti-corruption systems, which I was primarily involved in. I want to share my knowledge to help governments in transition to avoid the mistakes we made in Georgia and ways how we achieved a meaningfull progress in the last 10 years or so.” After this his eventual plan is to return to Georgia.