Dr. Toloraya is a diplomat with decades of experience in Korean affairs, having served two postings in North Korea (1977-1980 and 1984-1987), then in South Korea as a deputy chief of the Russian Embassy (1993-1998), and later as the senior Russian Foreign Ministry official (deputy director-general) in charge of the Korean Peninsula (1998-2003). He also served as the consul general of Russia in Sydney (2003-2007). From 2007 to 2008 he was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Prior to that he worked for trade promotion agencies related to Korea. He now works for the Russian World Presidential Foundation in Moscow as department chief in charge of Asia and is the national coordinator for CSCAP Russia, and is concurrently the director of Korean research at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Toloraya graduated from the Moscow University of International Relations in 1978, earning a Ph.D. in economics in 1984 and a Full Professor degree in Oriental studies in 2002.