Iliya was born in Novosibirsk, the unofficial capital of Siberia, Russia, approximately 4,520 km from Jerusalem, the official capital of Israel and the city where he resides today. Iliya’s family made aliya when he was three years old, moving first to Kibbutz Erez before settling in Kiryat Motzkin. After completing his B.A. in economics and statistics, Iliya began a six year stint in the IDF as an officer in the Financial Advisory to the Chief of Staff. The responsibility that comes from managing an enormous budget and designing some of the largest infrastructure megaprojects in the country, all while only in your early 20s, had a profound impact on him. During those years, Iliya also completed his M.A., and, even more importantly, acquired a clear understanding of where his main interest lies – improving the lives of Israelis through a well-designed, forward-looking, efficient economic policy. As a result, after completing his army service, Iliya chose to work where most economic policies and reforms are generated, in the Budget Division of Israel’s Ministry of Finance. He is currently head of the State Budget Team, responsible for constructing the macro-fiscal strategy of Israel’s government and managing the state budget approval process.