About Nurlan Kapparov

Harvard Kennedy School

Nurlan Kapparov Graduate Fellowship

"Life is a thorny path for everyone, but it is necessary to constantly move forward and, having chosen a goal, persistently and patiently work towards it."
Nurlan Kapparov

Nurlan Kapparov was a prominent Kazakh statesman and businessman, a leader who inspired his peers, partners, friends and the young people he supported.

In 1990 Mr. Kapparov founded Accept, one of the most successful private companies in Kazakhstan. Under his guidance, Accept became a diversified company with businesses in electronics, telecommunications, agriculture, wholesale, retail and oil refineries.

In late 1990’s Mr. Kapparov was invited to work in public service to improve the management of state companies. At the age of just 27 Mr. Kapparov became president of KazTransOil, where he helped develop a national system for transporting oil and gas. He then became head of the national oil and gas company, KazakhOil. Between 1999 and 2001 Mr. Kapparov worked as Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Having served his country for several years, in 2001 Mr. Kapparov was accepted at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard to study for a Master’s in Public Administration. Mr. Kapparov was a true world citizen, at ease with leaders of any culture, and his days at Harvard were instructive in informing every aspect of his business, political and social life.

On his return to Kazakhstan, in 2003 Mr. Kapparov and his close friends founded Lancaster Group, a Kazakhstan-based holding company operating across different sectors such as oil and gas services, mining, pharmacy, infrastructure, financial services and real estate. During this period Mr. Kapparov initiated and was actively involved in a number of social and charity projects. He was the Founder and Chairman of the Kazakhstan Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), the global platform for chief executives to inspire business, family and community impact. Mr.Kapparov also served as the Honorary Consul for South Africa in Almaty.

Following the success of Lancaster Group, Mr. Kapparov was invited again for a Government position. In 2012 he took the post of Minister of Environmental Protection and Water Resources. Mr. Kapparov used his considerable political and diplomatic skills to make Kazakhstan a leader in environmental policy. Later, in 2014 Mr. Kapparov was appointed CEO of KazAtomProm, the national nuclear holding company.

Mr. Kapparov will be remembered for his outstanding achievements in politics and business, but also for his sincere concern for the future generations, his commitment to charity and humanitarian goals. Mr. Kapparov paid particular attention to the youth and their education.

In 2003 upon his return from Harvard, Mr. Kapparov founded the Harvard Club of Central Asia (HCCA), aimed at bringing together Harvard graduates from the region. With his assistance the HCCA started scholarships for local students to attend Harvard and provided guidance on admissions, bringing officials from the institution to Kazakhstan to meet prospective students. For a generation of talented young people, Mr. Kapparov was the bridge that made the previously unthinkable prospect of getting into this world-ranking university a reality.