Born on August 18, 1959 in Leningrad.
Graduated in 1981 from Leningrad Institute of Railway Engineers, worked as a foreman of the October Railway Leningrad Baltic Depot.
1983-1984 - work for the Young Communist League (Komsomol) in Leningrad.
1984-1990 - military service as a Soviet Army officer, work for the army newspapers.
1990-1991 - member of the Leningrad City Council, head of the City Council and City Government Press Centre.
1991-1996 - Chairman of Saint Petersburg Mayor's Office Printing, Publishing and Media Committee, representative of the Information and Press Ministry of the Russian Federation.
1996-1999 - Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation State Press Committee.
Since November 1999 - President of the Centre of Strategic Research (Moscow).
January 2002 - June 2009 - representative of the Irkutsk Region Administration at the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, 2002-2006 - Chairman of the Information Policy Committee.
2004-2009 - Deputy Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
In 2006 in accordance with a Russian Federation government decree appointed Special Representative on SCO Business Council affairs; the same year - elected, in 2009 - reelected SCO BC Chairman.
2009-2012 - Governor, Chairman of the Government of Irkutsk Region.
At SCO Heads of State Council meeting in Beijing on 7 June 2012 appointed to the office of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretary-General for the duration of 1 January 2013 through 31 December 2015.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
Since 2008 - professor, head of political psychology department of Saint Petersburg State University, PhD in political psychology, doctoral candidate of Moscow State Institute (University) of International Relations of the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Since 1988 - member of the Soviet Union (now Russian Federation) Journalist Association.
Married, has a daughter and a grandson.
Decorations: "Order of Merit to the Motherland Fourth Degree", Order of Honour, medals, officer of the National Order of the French Legion of Honour, medal "For the strengthening of Russo-Chinese friendship".