Irina Nevzlin was born in Moscow, Soviet Russia, to a family of Jewish descent. She studied economics and earned both BA and MA degrees from Moscow Lomonosov State University. During the course of her studies, she worked in public affairs and lobbying positions at APCO Worldwide. In 2001, after completing her studies, she was promoted to Deputy Director of APCO Worldwide’s offices in Moscow, and in 2003, transferred to the firm’s offices in London.
From 2005 until moving to Israel in 2006, she worked as a communications advisor for various organizations in London.
In 2007, Nevzlin co-founded and managed the non-governmental organization “The Israeli Center for Better Childhood” (ICBC), established by the Nevzlin and Mionis families to provide Israeli youth with equal access to education and health and help them develop a sense of personal responsibility and social commitment. In 2008, she became the president of the NADAV Foundation, which supports projects in Jewish studies and education, Israel-Diaspora relations and Jewish peoplehood. The NADAV Foundation was established by her father Leonid Nevzlin upon his arrival in Israel. It promotes projects that build a sense of Jewish peoplehood and the values of liberalism.
In 2008, while serving as president of the NADAV Foundation, she began supporting the revival of The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot. Soon thereafter, Nevzlin was appointed as a member of the board of directors and subsequently, the Deputy chair of the board of Directors, serving under Chair Yaakov Peri. In August 2012, she was appointed chair of the museum’s board of directors. In this role, Nevzlin is currently leading the transformation of Beit Hatfutsot into the Museum of the Jewish People – an extensive renewal project that will recreate the museum into the sole institution worldwide that tells the entire story of the Jewish people.
From 2009–2015, she was a member of the Executive Council of the organization JFN Israel (Jewish Funders Network), and from 2011–2013, she served as the Vice-Chairman of the Governing Board of JFN Worldwide, an organization encouraging quality philanthropy within the Jewish world through a platform of exchange, deeds, and learning. During her term as Vice Chairman of JFN Worldwide, Nevzlin participated in the Prime Minister’s Office “Roundtable Discussion,” which aimed to foster dialogue between organizations within the non-profit sector as well as business people and philanthropists.
On Beit Hatfutsot Nevzlin conducted a comprehensive transformation of the then-Diaspora Museum, which morphed into today’s Museum of the Jewish People. Together with her team, she raised approximately $100 million for the construction of a brand-new museum. Irina’s bold leadership during this re-branding phase helped the museum establish a novel paradigm of Jewish identity and belonging. It is the biggest Jewish museum in the world and the only one to tell the story of all Jews around the globe with equal focus on their past, present, and future.
Irina also serves as a trustee in organizations endowed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former CEO of Yukos Oil.
In 2019 Irina established IMPROVATE, a platform that brings together governments and technology companies that represent the current world leadership, enabling them to build a shared language and work in cooperation to find practical solutions that will improve the quality of life for many.
In 2017, Irina was chosen by The Jerusalem Post as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.