Dr. Nikolai Toivonen graduated from Petrozavodsk State University in 1984. He was awarded the degree of Candidate of Physics and Mathematics (PhD) by the Leningrad State University named after A.A. Zhdanov in 1989. In 1990-1994 he was Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the Petrozavodsk State University. In 1994-2005, he worked for the same university as Vice-Rector for International Relations. In 2008-2014, he was Vice-Rector for Project Activities, Vice-Rector for Innovations and Vice-Rector for Strategic Development at the St. Petersburg National Research University ITMO. At the same time he served as Dean, Head of Laboratory, Director of the Institute, Director of the Department, Director of the Directorate of Development Programme and the Directorate for Improving the Competitiveness of the University (the program “5 in 100”). Since May 2014 he has been the Director of the International Department at Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. He was awarded the badge “Honorary Worker of Higher Professional Education of the Russian Federation”.