MGIMO, which, in Russian, stands for Moscow State Institute of International Relations, was founded on October 14, 1944 when the USSR Council of People’s Commissars reorganized the recently created School of International Relations of the Moscow State University into an independent institute. Initially called the Institute of International Relations (IMO) its first 200 students were veterans who had survived the ordeals of the Second World War and were determined to build international peace and stability.
From the outset MGIMO was intended to become a unique academic research and education center. It quickly became Russia’s leading diplomatic training institution, with MGIMO academics making a major contribution across the fields of international relations, country and regional studies, international law and international economic relations. Additionally, it took a position at the forefront of scientific endeavor, with the establishment of several world renowned scientific schools, and as the workplace of many outstanding Russian scientists, including Academy of Sciences members E.Tarle, L.Ivanov,
Originally MGIMO comprised three schools: School of International Relations, School of International Economic Relations and School of International Law. International students began coming to MGIMO from 1946. Since then MGIMO alumni have become national business, diplomatic and legal leaders in many countries, with several becoming Foreign Ministers, heads of government, heads of international organizations and even Presidents.
In 1954 the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, one of the oldest Russian institutes, the successor of the Lasarevsky School created in 1815 was integrated into MGIMO. The Institute’s library was greatly enriched by the addition of the famous Lasarevskaya library, which had no peer for its large body of oriental literature.
In 1958 MGIMO incorporated the Institute of Foreign Trade, which had previously operated under the aegis of the USSR Ministry for Foreign Trade. This led to an expansion of the School of International Economic Relations and a focus on training foreign trade and economic specialists. In 1969 the International Journalism School was founded.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the profound social and economic change sweeping Russia saw major changes in MGIMO’s structure and educational programs. In 1991 a new School of International Business and Business Administration was founded.
Since 1992 the Institute has been headed by the Rector, Professor Anatoly Torkunov, whose leadership has been instrumental in overcoming the turmoil of the 1990s. Under his tenure MGIMO has embarked on a comprehensive program of educational modernization and innovation, including closer integration with European higher education through entrance into the Bologna process, the broadening of international contacts, and the elevation of the Institute to the forefront of international education and science.
In 1994 MGIMO was granted University status. The same year saw the creation of the International Institute of Administration, following a decision by the Russian Government on government administration and municipal management training. 1998 saw the founding of the School of Political Science, the first of its type in Russia to focus on training public service managers.
In 2000 the International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy was established under the aegis of MGIMO on the initiative of leading Russian energy companies. The mission of the Institute is to train managers for the promotion of international energy cooperation.
MGIMO’s European Studies Institute was founded in 2006 reflecting joint efforts by the Russian Federation and European Union to organize continuing education programs for Russian and European officials.
Every year MGIMO accepts more than one thousand new students, from every part of the Russian Federation, and internationally from more than 60 countries. Over 35 thousand Russian and global alumni are proud to have graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Divisions of the MGIMO Alumni Association are active in many countries around the world. In 2007, the MGIMO Alumni Association established Russia’s first university endowment development foundation for MGIMO.