Professional background 

My life was dominated by my fascination of the Soviet Union since my very first visit to the country in 1984 when I was fifteen years old. This was the beginning of a great ‘love-affair' lasting until today and for sure continuing in the future. Russia fascinated me from the beginning and was followed by other Soviet Union Republics. All these countries I loved in one way or another and it was always my aim to live there. Until today, I feel very comfortable in this geographical area.

Starting with visits to Moscow and Leningrad in 1985, I continued with Yalta, Tomsk and Novosibirsk in the following years. I studied Slavic and German studies, Media and Communication Sciences and partly Business Administration at Mannheim University, Germany. 

A traineeship in Arkhangelsk at the Russian sawmill ‘Lukovetskij' in 1991 followed a semester working in Warsaw as a trainee and set the course for my career in these countries. I finalized my studies in 1996 and started to work on EU financed projects as a communication and media consultant.

In spring 1997, I was deployed as a long-term consultant to the Southern Caucasus, based in Tbilisi, Georgia. I coordinated an EU project covering Armenia and Azerbaijan as well. Although facing difficult conditions from the very beginning, the Transcaucasus became one of my favorite places in the FSU, mainly the very beautiful but also challenging country of Georgia. Until today, I travel to Georgia frequently. I don't see my passion for Russia and Georgia contradicting each other. Moreover, I strongly believe that I contribute to a more relaxed relationship between citizens of both nations.

My professional experiences were additionally enriched by a job in Central Asia. I managed a project in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan while being based in Almaty. Afterwards, I moved back to the Caucasus where I worked as a General Manager of a start-up mobile operation in Georgia for Turkcell, one of the largest mobile operators in Turkey.

In 2001 a dream came true and Moscow became my home, where I headed a representative office of one of the leading qualitative market research institutes in Germany. 2006, I started my own consultancy in Russia but returned to Germany in spring 2008, where I am now based and work from as a consultant on different international projects.

Since 2008, I widened my geographical acitivity area and started to work in the MEA-region (namely Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, UAE etc.) on different projects. I enjoy working in this environment as I can not only expand my current knowledge but also benefit from my past professional experience tremendously. In 2013, I started to work also in the MENA region, mainly in Egypt to which I still travel now on a regular basis. 

Parallelly, I initiated the start-up MP International Solutions together with a colleague and look forward to extent my services in the private sector in 2014.   

Here you can download my CV in EU-format. CV in other formats will be provided upon request.

© Waltraud Gehrig - effective communication