Irina Prokhorova is a philologist and editor-in-chief of the New Literary Observer publishing house. She graduated from the Philology Faculty of Moscow State University as a Candidate [equivalent to PhD] of Philology (dissertation on English modernist literature). Having worked in television, in the late 1980s she became editor of Literary Observer magazine. In 1992 she set up New Literary Observer magazine and a publishing house of the same name, heading both. In 2004 she cofounded the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation, a charity organisation that supports cultural initiatives in the Russian regions. Since 2012 Irina has hosted the programme System of Values on RBC TV. From late 2013 to mid-2014 she headed the Federal Civil Committee of the political party Civic Platform. Her decision to stand down was motivated by the split in the party over the annexation of Crimea, after which she vacated the post of party chairperson. In March 2014 she signed the “Against the War, Against the Isolation of Russia, Against the Restoration of Totalitarianism” appeal, put forward by the Congress of Intellectuals, and a letter in support of musician Andrei Makarevich, a critic of Russia’s policies in Ukraine. Winner of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, the Liberty Prize for contributions to the development of Russian-U.S. cultural relations, the Andrei Bely Prize for services to Russian literature, Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters of France, Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honour.