Ingrida Šimonytė

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Ingrida Šimonytė
Ingrida Simonyte 2019.jpg
Member of the Seimas
for Antakalnis
Assumed office
14 November 2016
Preceded byAndrius Kubilius
Minister of Finance
In office
7 July 2009 – 13 December 2012
Prime MinisterAndrius Kubilius
Preceded byAlgirdas Šemeta
Succeeded byRimantas Šadžius
Personal details
Born (1974-11-15) 15 November 1974 (age 44)
Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
Political partyIndependent
EducationVilnius University
Signature
Websiteingridasimonyte.lt

Ingrida Šimonytė (born 15 November 1974 – Vilnius, Lithuania) is a Lithuanian economist, politician, and served as Lithuania's Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2012.

In 2013, she was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania[1] whilst simultaneously teaching economics at the Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science, as well as public finance at ISM University of Management and Economics.

On 31 October 2016, she was elected as the MP for the Antakalnis constituency in the 2016 Lithuanian parliamentary election.[2] After announcing her presidential run, Šimonytė stepped down from her parliamentary position in accordance with Lithuania's electoral guidelines.

On 4 November 2018, she won the nomination from the Homeland Union party for the presidential candidacy. Šimonytė was the leading candidate in Lithuania's 2019 presidential election after winning 31.31% of the vote in the primary round ahead of second-placed opponent, Gitanas Nausėda. However, she has lost the final elections with only 32.86% of the votes against Gitanas Nausėda, who has won the elections with 65.86%.

In addition to her native Lithuanian, Šimonytė speaks English, Polish and Russian as well as basic-level Swedish.[3]

Early life[edit]

Born in Vilnius, Šimonytė moved to the Antakalnis district with her parents in 1984 where she spent most of her childhood and formative years. In 1992, Šimonytė finished school at the Vilnius Žirmūnai Gymnasium, where she was recognised and awarded for her academic skills in mathematics.

Academic Achievements[edit]

The same year, she entered Vilnius University’s Faculty of Economics, where she graduated in 1996 with a degree in Business Administration. Two years later, Šimonytė went on to earn a master's degree in Economics from the same institution.

Career as an Economist and Public Servant[edit]

1997 marked the start of Šimonytė's career as an economist and as a public servant. She was made the Chief of The Tax Division – a department which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania.

Between 1998 and 2001, she served as an economist at the Ministry of Finance before being promoted to head of the ministry's Indirect Taxation Division, where she remained until 2004.

Šimonytė remained with the Tax Department until 2009 where she stepped down from her position as Secretary of the Ministry before taking up the position of Minister of Finance in the government of Lithuania's former Prime Minister, Andrius Kubilius.

Here she presided over a number of successful austerity measures to ensure Lithuania quickly recovered from the global economic crisis, and set the course for Lithuania's current rate of positive economic growth.

Šimonytė served as Minister of Finance until 2012, before taking up the role as the first ever female Deputy Chair of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania during the following year.

Career as an Academic[edit]

In 2013 Šimonytė further advanced her career after taking up a lecturing role at Vilnius University's Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. She also undertook a similar position at the university as a lecturer in International Relations and Political Science.

Career as a member of parliament[edit]

During the 2016 Lithuanian parliamentary election,[4] Šimonytė was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Antakalnis constituency in Vilnius. Although she ran on an independent ticket, she received backing from the TS-LKD. In accordance with Lithuanian electoral law, she had to step down from her parliamentary position after announcing her run for the presidency in 2018.

Presidential Election 2019[edit]

On 24 September 2018, Šimonytė announced she would run in Lithuania's 2019 presidential election as an independent candidate – once again with backing from the TS-LKD.

4 November saw her beat European Union’s former ambassador to Russia, Vygaudas Ušackas, in the run-offs to become the TS-LKD-backed candidate. Šimonytė took 79% of the vote compared to Ušackas’ 21%.

12 May 2019 saw Šimonytė advance to the second and final round of the 2019 Lithuanian presidential election after taking victory with 31.31% of the entire vote. She marginally won after edging out her nearest challenger, Gitanas Nausėda, who trailed the former Finance Minister on 30.94%.

In the final round on 26 May 2019 she had fewer people voting for her, than in the first round.

Political stances[edit]

Foreign policy[edit]

In October 2018, Šimonytė stated that if elected president, she would increase the amount that Lithuania spends on defence from its budget. She also cited Russia as a "state that has broken all international agreements" and as a threat to European security.

Šimonytė is in favour of improving strategic relations between Lithuania and neighbouring Poland, and called U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement a "mistake".

Domestic policy[edit]

Šimonytė has openly stated that she is not against same-sex civil unions. With regard to abortion, she has not made an official comment on the issue. However, she has said that she would not condemn women who choose to do so.

Honours and awards[edit]

Honours[edit]

National honours[edit]

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Algirdas Šemeta
Minister of Finance
2009–2012
Succeeded by
Rimantas Šadžius