Ilya Ponomarev

Ilya Ponomarev has more than 30 years of international operational and investment experience with primary focus on energy and new technologies. Since 2002 it was complemented with active political and social life involvement as well as government relations practice.

Currently Hon. Ponomarev is in business of creating SPACs – special purposes acquisition companies, designed to accelerate access for private companies to public market through alternative listing methods. In 2018-2020 he was the CEO of New York and Kyiv based Trident Acquisitions Corp (NASDAQ: TDAC), a SPAC entity established to facilitate US investments in oil and gas industry in Eastern Europe and Black Sea area, primarily Ukraine. It successfully completed its IPO in 2018, raising more than $200mln and became the only of a kind major investor in Ukrainian economy. Later Hon. Ponomarev took part in formation of two other SPACs, in fintech and media industries.

From 2021 Hon. Ponomarev is the Member of the Board and Chief Investment Officer of BGV Group – the largest Ukrainian investment firm focused on battery materials and critical minerals – the source of energy in the XXI century. It develops a portfolio of projects, including mining rare earths, graphite, beryllium, zircon, titanium and uranium.

In 2007-2016 Hon. Ponomarev served as member of Russian Parliament – State Duma, Social Democrat representing Novosibirsk – the capital of Siberia, and chaired Innovations and Venture Capital subcommittee, introducing legislation to support emerging innovation economy in Russia. Among his achievements was the amendment to the Civil Code, legalizing LLPs in Russia, and Net Businesses Act. He is one of the authors of State Procurement system. In 2012-2014 he became famous for his opposition to Pres. Vladimir Putin, and in 2014 he was the only dissent vote in the parliament against annexation of Crimea and war with Ukraine and was illegally prosecuted by Russian authorities and forced into exile afterwards.


Before being elected, Hon. Ponomarev was working for Secretary of IT and Telecom as national coordinator for hi-tech parks task force – $6 bln. private-public project to develop a network of small settlements across the country for fostering innovation and R&D activities. He also spearheaded Skolkovo Foundation – managing company of the project chaired by Pres. Medvedev, which was to become the spinal cord of Russian innovation ecosystem. He was in charge of International Business Development, Commercialization and Technology Transfer, and facilitated the formation of SkolTech – a joint university between Russia and MIT.

Earlier Ilya held various positions in government offices and private companies. Most remarkable positions include:

– Vice president of Yukos Oil Company, largest Russian oil and gas corporation. Ilya’s duties during four years at Yukos at different times included being corporate CIO as well as chief executive and chief of operations in Yukos’ oilfield technologies and services subsidiaries and daughter investment company (specialized in high technologies);

– Director for Business Development and Marketing in CIS for Schlumberger Oilfield Services, responsible for scouting and adopting into Schlumberger product lines and further global marketing of Russia-originated technologies in energy sector;

– Vice president for strategy, regional development and government relations at IBS, largest Russian system integrator and consulting company.

Before joining Schlumberger, Ilya was among founders of two successful high technology start-ups in Russia. His first job position was in Institute for Nuclear Safety (IBRAE), Russian Academy of Sciences.

Ilya Ponomarev holds BSc in Physics from Moscow State University and MSc in Public Administration from Russian State Social University. He is member of Society of Petroleum Engineers (IT), Council for Foreign and Defense Policies, and Council for National Strategy. He is also the member of Permanent Committee for Free Russia Forum.


In 2008-2013 Hon. Ponomarev was supervising innovation policies research at Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR, think-tank chaired by Pres. Medvedev), and in 2002-2012 political studies and regional development projects at Institute of Globalization Studies (IPROG). Until 2014 he was the member of Central Committee, Political Party “Fair Russia” (Social Democrats). Hon. Ponomarev served in 2010-2016 as the member of Global Science and Innovations Council (GSIAC), chaired by Prime Minister of Malaysia. In 2009-2016 he was also co-chairing Korean-Russian Business Council. He is currently a visiting professor in Free University in Latvia.


Ilya Ponomarev is the author of numerous research papers and magazine articles about economy development, regional development policies, direct democracy and on security issues and international relations.