Person of day - 6 NOVEMBER 2023
Latvia’s Minister of Finance Dana Reizniece-Ozola began her life path as a talented chess player. Dana won the European Championship for young women twice, took home silver medals from the children’s competitions of the Old World and, aged 16, performed in the World Chess Olympiad as a member of the Latvian team. She is the four-time winner of Latvian National Championship among women and a seven-time competitor of the Tournament of Nations, where she always played at the first board. Reizniece soon amassed 8,5 points out of 13 against the world’s strongest female players and the Latvians took 13th place, a record for that team.
Soon the rating of the leading Latvian female chess player reached 2350 and Dana became a grandmaster. She competed in the knockout world championship in 2000 and the World Mind Sports Games in 2008.
Dana managed to combine her sporting competitions for the highest achievements in juniors’ chess with successful studies. She graduated from the Ventspils University College, attaining a profession qualification as a written and oral translator and a, Executive Master’s degree of Business Administration from the International Space University in France. She also worked as the Head of the Investment Division at Ventspils City Council and as a member of government for the Ventpils park of high-tech. She speaks five foreign languages- English, Russian, French, Spanish and German.
In October 2010 she was elected to Latvia’s Saeima and, one year after, she began to work in the Juridical Commission and the Commission for Latvia’s European Affairs. In 2014, as one of the leaders pf the political “Union of Greens and Farmers”, she was appointed as the Minister of Economy for Latvia. Experts believe that Dana has a high chance of competing for the post of the head of government and running for President. Latvia’s Minister of Finance is a supporter of a reform to introduce tax on capital and supporting entrepreneurship.
Despite her unforgiving workload, Dana Reizniece-Ozola finds time to participate in chess competitions. For example, Dana performed admirably in the rapid-tournament of the Memorial of Vladimir Petrov in 2015, where she managed to compete against Sergey Karjakin in one round. She also outclassed the world champion Hou Yifan in the Baku Olympiad in 2016.
Reizniece-Ozola worked as Latvia’s Minister of Finance up to 2019. At the beginning of 2021, Dana accepted FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich's offer to become the FIDE Managing Director, and after that, she stepped down from the Latvian Parliament. In FIDE, Dana was responsible for the social block: chess at schools, chess for the disabled, the Trainers' Commission, and women in chess. In October 2022, Dana Reizniece-Ozola became Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board.
She is married to Andris Ozols, director of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia. Dana and her husband have three daughters and one son.