Director General of the Reforma Foundation, Chairman, Organizing Committee, Socialist Party of Russia
Born on September 21, 1951 in Krasnogorsk, Moscow region, in the company town of the Pavshino Mechanical Plant. His father is Lett and his mother Russian.
He was formerly a member of the CPSU.
Graduated from the Kaliningrad Higher Military Engineering School and the All-Union Correspondence Civil Engineering Institute.
He abandoned military service in 1975 because of an arm injury.
He worked as an engineer with Mosinzhremont, a member of a secret space research laboratory, chief engineer of Glavmosobltstroi, and chief of Glavmosoblstroi special works directorate.
Then he engaged in private business.
From 1991 he has been director-general and vice-president of the International Economic and Social Reform Fund (otherwise known as Reforma foundation or Shatalin foundation). In 1992-1993 he was advisor to Vice-Premier Georgy Khizha. In 1993-1995 he was a member of the consultative council under State Duma Chairman Ivan Rybkin.
In the spring of 1995 he was among the founders of the My Fatherland movement and was elected member of its coordinating council (the chairman of the coordinating council was Viktor Mishin, former first secretary of the Central Committee of the Young Communist League).
In the 1995 elections to the State Duma he was initially on the list of Ivan Rybkin's bloc (No. 2 on the Moscow Regional list), but later withdrew from the bloc together with Stanislav Shatalin, V. Mishin, Boris Gromov and others. He was put on the My Fatherland list of candidates, as No. 10 in the federal part of the list and No. 105 in the Istra electoral district.
In the December 17, 1995 elections My Fatherland polled 496,276 votes, or 0.72 percent of the total (placing 19th among 43 contenders) thus failing to make the 5 percent barrier. In the majority system only General Boris Gromov was elected deputy in a single-mandate constituency (he topped the list, but is not a member of My Fatherland association). In the district Shakkum lost the election to Dmitry Krasnikov (CPRF).
On February 9, 1996 the Central Election Commission registered authorized representatives of the group of citizens to promote Shakkum's candidacy for president of Russia (the nucleus of the group were members of the Reforma foundation.
In March 1996 he founded and became the head of the Organizing Committee of the Socialist Party of Russia which was scheduled to hold its congress on April 15. But in early April 1995 Ivan Rybkin beat Shakkum to it registering a party of the same name with the Justice Ministry.