Žilvinas Šilėnas Replaces Rūta Vainienė as her Term as LFMI President Ends

On December 12, a general meeting of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute’s (LFMI) shareholders and the Board appointed Žilvinas Šilėnas LFMI’s President to replace Rūta Vainienė as her term of office ended. R. Vainienė will continue working at LFMI as a Senior Fellow and will head LFMI‘s strategic projects.

Žilvinas Šilėnas joined LFMI in 2006 after graduating from Wesleyan University, USA. Having started as a Junior Analyst on economic policy and international trade, Ž. Šilėnas became Senior Analyst at LFMI in 2009. Besides his active involvement in economic policy, Ž. Šilėnas has broadened LFMI’s scope to include energy, transportation and other sectors in need of privatization and deregulation. He was actively involved in the work of the “Sunset” and “Sunrise” commissions that focus on sizing down state functions and cutting spending. Ž. Šilėnas contributed to LFMI’s key role in revealing the origins of the crisis to the society and formulating the anti-crisis action plan to the national authorities. He is a liked commentator in mass media, an avid blogger and a skilled lecturer, especially popular among young people.

“The mission of the Institute does not change. We will continue working according to the long term strategic vision. We believe that the solutions based on the free-market principles can restore society’s trust in freedom and responsibility, encouraging people to stay, work and create in Lithuania,” says the new President of LFMI.

Upon taking up the post of LFMI’s President, Žilvinas Šilėnas is resigning from Šiauliai City Council and withdrawing from politics.

Elena Leontjeva, the Chair of LFMI‘s Board and one of LFMI‘s Founders, says: “The Institute is a mature organisation where the strongest people can be appointed to the most challenging fields and where new leaders are produced. LFMI is a team where everyone can take up positions to best realise their individual talents to help Lithuanian people and at the same time to move forward harmoniously as a team. Current events confirm that our mission is necessary. People need not just economic education – they also need someone to address and analyse the issues of morality.”

Having worked at LFMI since its beginning in 1990, Rūta Vainienė will be the head of the strategic projects of LFMI. “I will be able to devote my efforts to crucial issues in Europe and Lithuania. The euro crisis demands non-traditional solutions, and neither Europe nor Lithuania is ready to cope with these problems at analytical level. Lithuania needs fundamental changes in the area in economic education. We have ideas, the implementation of which requires full involvement,” – R. Vainienė shares her opinion.

In its 22nd year of active performance, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute is a leading free-market NGO in Lithuania and one of the leading thinks tanks in the region. LFMI was the pioneer of independent policy advocacy in Lithuania and stood at the forefront of the country’s economic and social transition to the free-market economy. LFMI has retained its independence through support from private sources.