In 1996 he started working in the Presidential Administration of Boris Yeltsin. He was appointed as Finance Minister on 28 May 2000 and held the post for 11 years, making him the longest-serving Finance Minister in post-Soviet Russia. In addition, he was Deputy Prime Minister from 2000–04 and again beginning in 2007.
As Finance Minister, Kudrin was widely credited with prudent fiscal management, commitment to tax and budget reform and championing the free market. Under his leadership, Russia’s government paid most of the substantial foreign debt it had accumulated in the 1990s, leaving the country with one of the lowest foreign debts among major economies. Much of the revenue from exports was accumulated at the Stabilization Fund which helped Russia to come out of the 2008-09 global financial crisis in a much better state than many experts expected.
As Finance Minister, Kudrin won several global awards, including Finance Minister of the Year 2010 prize from Euromoney magazine.
He has recently taken up very senior supervisory roles at Sberbank and the Russian Central Bank.