Valery Engel was born on June 19, 1961 in Moscow. In 1983, he graduated in history from Moscow State Pedagogical Institute (now the Moscow State Pedagogical University) and received his degree as a teacher of history, social sciences and law.
From 1983 to 1987 he worked as a teacher of history and law in the system of vocational training in Moscow.
In 1995 he defended his Ph.D. thesis at the Institute of Universal History of the Russian Academy of Science on the "Jewish Question in the Russian-American relations since the end of the 19th. - beginning of 20 centuries. ". In 1998 the publishing house of the Russian Academy of Science "NAUKA" (the Science) published his book on the topic of dissertation. He is an expert on human rights in international relations, as well as an expert on Jewish history, Russia of XIX-XX centuries.
Since the early 80s of the XX century Mr. Engel is the active member of the Jewish democratic movement. In October 1987 he initiated the creation of the Jewish Historical Society and was the Chairman of this organization until 1991. This society united in its framework the majority of experts in the field of Judaic and Hebraic of the USSR. Jewish Historical Society of the USSR organized in 1987 - 89 in 8 cities of the former Soviet Union the permanent lectures on Jewish history and culture.
In 1989 he organized the first in the USSR international scientific conference on Judaica and Hebraic, which was attended by 20 scientists from various countries including USA, Canada, Israel, Poland and the USSR.
In 1990 he initiated the creation of the Association of Jewish Studies and Jewish Culture of the USSR, which included 10 Jewish organizations in the Soviet Union republics (after 1991 - International Association of Jewish Studies and Jewish Culture). He was the president of this organization until 1993.
In 1993 he initiated the establishment of the Congress of the National Organizations of Russia (CNOR) and was the vice-president of this organization until 1999. In 1996-2000 Mr. Engel was a member of the Advisory Council on National-Cultural Autonomy of the Russian Government.
In 1991-1996 he was elected a member of the Executive Committee of the World Jewish Congress from the CIS.
He is an honorary doctor of the Department of Hebraic University of Sorbonne in Paris.
From 2001 to 2003 he taught at the Department of History and Ethnography of the National Academy of Maimonides.
In 2001 - 2008 years - Vice-President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, 2002 - Executive Director, and since 2007 - Vice-President of the World Congress of Russian Jewry, as well as vice-president of the Federal Jewish National-Cultural Autonomy Russia.
Since 2008 Mr. Engel has been living in Latvia. Since 2009 he is an active participant in the movement to counter the glorification of Nazism and revise the outcome of World War II.
From June 2010 – Vice - Chairman of the International Human Rights Movement "The World Without Nazism" (WWN).
He is married and has two children