Since December 2011 the office of the President of Transnistria has been held by Evgeniy Shevchuk. President Shevchuk is an ethnic Ukrainian, born in Rybnitsa in the north of Transnistria and is a lawyer by training. Prior to his election as President Evgeniy Shevchuk was the Speaker of Parliament and leader of the political party Renewal. Evgeniy Shevchuk has worked in both the public and private sectors, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The President holds a Ph.D in Economics.
From independence in 1990 until 2011 Transnistria was led by Igor Smirnov. President Smirnov, an ethnic Russian, born in Russia, was initially the Chairman of the Provisional Supreme Soviet and Chairman of the Republic from September 1990 until December 1991, with the exception of a brief hiatus due to imprisonment in Moldova. When the office of President of Transnistria was established Igor Smirnov held this post from December 1991 until December 2011.