Vyacheslav Ivanovich Bakhmin (1947) was born in Kalinin (now Tver) and attended high school at specialized boarding school №18 for physics and mathematics attached to Moscow State University (graduating in 1966). He was a participant in the human rights movement in the years 1968-1985.
From 1966 to 1969, Vyacheslav Bakhmin studied at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology but was expelled after being arrested for ‘anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda’. Ten months later, he was released when pardoned by a decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet. In 1974, he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Economics and Statistics and worked as a programmer in various organizations. In 1977 he was one of the founding members of the Working Commission to Investigate the Use of Psychiatry for Political Purposes. From 1980 to 1984 he was imprisoned in a camp for ‘spreading deliberately false fabrications that defamed the Soviet state and public order.’
Since 1989 Vyacheslav Bakhmin has been a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group. In 1991-95, he headed the Department for International Humanitarian and Cultural Cooperation of the Russian Ministry of Foreign. In 1995-2003 he was executive director of the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) established in Russia. In 2004-2006 he worked as a manager of the Swiss Human Rights Programme and in 2008-2009 as a consultant to the Ford Foundation. From 2004 to 2015 he was a consultant to the C.S. Mott Foundation, evaluating and monitoring projects supported by the Foundation in Russia. Since 2011 he has headed the council of experts of the Polytechnic Museum Foundation and is a member of the organizing committee of the All-Russian Civic Forum, chair of the Sakharov Centre, co-chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, and a member of the expert councils of various donor charitable programmes and organizations.
Vyacheslav Bakhmin is the author of several books, including On Foundations in Russia [«О фондах в России»] (Logos Publishing House, 2004) and Design and Implementation of Grant Contests [«Проектирование и проведение грантового конкурса»] (Arkhangelsk, 2016).