Yerkin Ongarbayev was born in 1961 in the South-Kazakhstan region.
In different years he held various positions in state bodies, scientific research organizations, higher educational institutions. From 2007 to 2010 he was the Chairman of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He also worked in JSC "National Scientific and Technological Holding "Parassat" as managing director, as rector of the Astana University and pro-rector of the Eurasian National University after L.N. Gumilyev.
From July 2017, he served as Acting Chairman of the Committee on Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Civil Society of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
He holds a doctorate in jurisprudence, was awarded the Order "Kurmet" and an honorary title "Honored Worker of the Republic of Kazakhstan".