Oksen Lisovyi was born on 21 July 1972 in the Kyiv region in a family of teachers. His father, Vasyl Lisovyi, was a dissident and organiser of Ukrainian samizdat in 1960-1970. His mother, Vira Lisova, is a Ukrainian linguist by profession, a publicist, dissident and member of the Ukrainian human rights movement. A week before Oksen's birth, his father was arrested and imprisoned for 11 years for writing an open letter in defence of the arrested Sixties. His mother, a teacher of Ukrainian language and literature, was fired from her job and left with her 6-year-old daughter, waiting for her son without any means of support. Her childhood was turbulent, with constant searches, interrogations and suspicions, but despite political repression and pressure, Vira Lisova continued to help the families of political prisoners.
He spent the summer of 1981 awaiting trial in Novaya Bryana in the Buryat Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, where his father was in exile. There, the Lisovys were able to reunite their family, but Vasyl Lisovy was arrested again for his protests against the deployment of Soviet troops to Afghanistan. Vira Lisova acted as a defence lawyer in her husband's case. The Lisovy family lived in exile for two years in the village of Ilka, where Vasyl Lisovy worked as a turner. Oksena's sister graduated from high school, and the boy finished grades 3 and 4. In June 1983, the family returned to Kyiv.
Oksen Lisovyi graduated from the Reshetylivka Art School of Folk Crafts (speciality - ceramic artist), Kyiv State Institute of Culture (speciality - library and information systems).
He worked as a teacher at the Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium, a fencing coach and supported the activities of the Sich youth organisation, held a senior position at the General Directorate of Ukrtelecom, and since 2010 has been the Director of the National Centre of the Minor Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (MASU).
In 2012, Oksen Lisovyi defended his PhD thesis on "Socio-cultural self-identification of the individual". In 2023, the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance reported that it had received Lisovyi's request to check his thesis for possible facts of academic plagiarism, which caused a public outcry. On 30 May 2023, Oksen Lisovyi renounced his PhD degree in accordance with the mechanism developed by the Cabinet of Ministers the day before.
Under his leadership, the NAS has published more than 250 scientific publications and 25 author's scientific works, in which he acted as an editor.
With the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, he volunteered to go to the front as part of the 95th separate airborne assault brigade. At the same time, he continued to serve as Director of the IASC remotely.
On 21 March 2023, the Verkhovna Rada appointed Oksen Lisovyi as Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.
Activities at the Small Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
In September 2020, together with the President of the Minor Academy of Sciences Stanislav Dovgyi, he initiated the establishment of a modern interactive museum space - the first Museum of Science in Ukraine.
In addition to opportunities for students, he expanded the professional development of teachers. He introduced the latest pedagogical methods and research and experimental technologies into the educational process of general secondary education institutions. In particular, a training centre for teachers of natural sciences was created on the basis of the MANLab laboratory complex.
Oksen Lisovyi also took part in volunteer projects and events aimed at helping children - internally displaced persons and children of military personnel affected by the Joint Forces Operation. He is a member of the Council for National and Patriotic Education of Children and Youth at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.