Kanat Bekmyrzayevich Saudabayev (Kazakh language: Қанат Бекмырзаұлы Саудабаев, Qanat Bekmırzaulı Sawdabayev) is a Kazakhstani politician who was born next to Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan in 1946. Saudabayev has served as the Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan since 15 May 2007. On September 4, 2009, he was appointed Secretary of State - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, taking on the responsibility for spearheading Kazakhstan's preparation for and holding of the rotating chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2010.
The Secretary of State operates immediately under the leadership of the President of Kazakhstan, and is directly responsible to the President. The Secretary of State develops proposals on main dimensions of domestic and foreign policies for the President. At the request of the President, the Secretary of State represents his interests in international affairs, in relations with the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, state bodies, political parties and other public organizations.
He served as Kazakhstan's ambassador to the United States from December 2000 until the political shakeup of 2007, when President Nursultan Nazarbayev promoted him to the position of the Secretary of State.
In Washington, Saudabayev brought an important contribution strengthening the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the USA in the spheres of security, nuclear disarmament, economy and democratic development.
Before his appointment to the U.S., Ambassador Saudabayev had a long career in the fields of government, diplomacy and the arts.
In 1999 and 2000, he served as the head of the Prime Minister’s Office with the rank of Cabinet member.
In the 1990s, he served as Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and to Turkey. During 1994, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Saudabayev worked to implement the developing foreign policy of the young independent state. He was Kazakhstan’s signatory to NATO’s Partnership for Peace agreement.
In the fall of 1991, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev appointed Kanat Saudabayev as the Soviet Ambassador to Turkey. As he was planning to take up his post, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Within weeks Kanat Saudabayev was on his way to Turkey again, but as the first Ambassador ever from an independent Kazakhstan.
Working in Moscow from September 1991 through May 1992 as the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic to the USSR, and then, after the Soviet Union collapsed, to the Russian Federation, Kanat Saudabayev was a direct participant in and a witness to many crucial events of that time.
Before entering the diplomatic service, Kanat Saudabayev had a distinguished cultural career, serving as Kazakhstan’s Chairman of the State Committee of Culture with the rank of Minister, Chairman of the State Film Committee, and Deputy Culture Minister. He began his career as a theatrical producer.
Kanat Saudabayev holds degrees from the Leningrad Institute of Culture and the Academy of Public Sciences of the Central Committee of Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Kazakh State University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Moscow State University. His service has been recognized by the orders of Otan (Fatherland), Kazakhstan’s highest state award, and Kurmet (Distinguished Service).
Kanat Saudabayev is married with three children.
See also 
- Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments Central Intelligence Agency
- Kanat B. Saudabayev Embassy of Kazakhstan to the United States and Canada
- Saudabayev appointed Kazakh Security Council secretary Interfax
|Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States
14 February 2001 to 15 May 2007