Members and Fellows

Marlene Laruelle,

148_atkin-muriel-148x150Muriel Atkin,





Henry-E.-Hale-150x150Henry E. Hale,





Benjamin-Hopkins-150x150Benjamin Hopkins,





Sebastien-PeyrouseSebastien Peyrouse,





Sean-RobertsSean Roberts,





peter-150x150Peter Rollberg,




Sergey-Abashin-150x129Sergey Abashin,

LauraAdams2009-150x150Laura Adams,

jos-boonstraJos Boonstra,

Remi Castets drRemi Castets,

Alexander-Cooley-138x150Alexander Cooley,

Michael-Denison-150x122Michael Denison,

Alexander-Diener-132x150Alexander Diener,

Emilbek-Dzhuraev-131x150Emilbek Dzhuraev,

Shairbek-JuraevShairbek Juraev,

Artemy-M.-KalinovskyArtemy M. Kalinovsky,

Nargis-Kassenova-132x150Nargis Kassenova,

Andrei-Kazantsev-135x150Andrei Kazantsev,

Simbal-KhanSimbal Khan,

Aitolkyn-Kourmanova-132x150Aitolkyn Kourmanova,

sobirSobir Kurbanov,

Sanat-Kushkumbayev-139x150Sanat Kushkumbayev,

Alisher-LatypovAlisher Latypov,

Marat-Laumulin-141x150Marat Laumulin,

Erica-MaratErica Marat,


Eric-McGlinchey-e1416118900588-144x150Eric McGlinchey,

Neil-Melvin-144x150Neil Melvin,

Jargalsaikhan-Mendee-141x150Jargalsaikhan Mendee,


DSCN5657-2-150x150David W. Montgomery,

Michael-Rouland-150x150Michael Rouland,

Konstantin-Syroezhkin-141x150Konstantin Syroezhkin,

Cory Welt

Guli-Yuldasheva-e1416117682562-150x150Guli Yuldasheva,

Central Asia – Azerbaijan Fellows

Kamal Gasimov is an expert at the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Oriental Studies (Persian language and literature) from Baku State University (Azerbaijan). He has also studied Arabic language and literature at Kuwait University. His research has mainly concentrated on Islamic social movements, particularly quietist Salafi trends and their interaction with Islamists or jihadis; the transnationalization of Salafism and its connection with local (post-Soviet) actors; and Islamic legal theories. His interests lie primarily in contemporary Islamic groups in Syria, Iraq and the Gulf countries. During his fellowship, Kamal will consider transformations in the Islamic landscape of Azerbaijan.

Nazik Imanbekova is a transparency and open government activist from Kyrgyzstan, who has worked at various organizations from local NGOs (Public Foundation ElNaz, EITI public reception, EITI NGO Consortium, Human Development Center Tree of Life) to IGOs (UNDP). As the head of EITI public reception in Talas region, she developed a dialogue platform, which the national government to adopted and led to the establishment of periodical meetings with local communities. She holds a Specialist Diploma with Honors in Economics from the Academy of Management under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic. During her fellowship, she will study the impact of mining contracts and government’s policy. The research will focus on the effects of current policies and contract clauses on local communities around the mining value chain in Kyrgyzstan.

Daniyar Kussainov currently works as a program assistant for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Sub-regional Coordination Office for Central Asia and was a research fellow at the Soros-Kazakhstan Foundation Public Policy Initiative in 2014. Daniyar holds an MA degree in Politics and Security (Central Asia) from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. His professional and academic interests include migration, education, and elections. Prior to joining the IOM Office in Almaty, he worked for local and international NGOs, OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Missions, OSCE Secretariat and the World Bank. During his fellowship, Daniyar will study state educational policies and their potential effects on rising socio-economic inequality in Kazakhstan.

Dinara Nurusheva is co-founder of PaperLab Research Group and a research fellow at the University of Central Asia and was a research fellow at the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan Public Policy Initiative in 2014. She graduated from Abylai Khan Kazakh University of International Relations and World Languages with a Bachelor in International Relations. She obtained her master’s degree in Global Political Economy at City University London through the Bolashak scholarship. She has experience working in the analytical department at Nazarbayev Centre in Astana and the Center for Humanitarian and Political Trends in Almaty. Her research interests include institutionalism and the social and economic development of Kazakhstan’s regions. During her fellowship, Dinara will study the social and economic implications of living in a mining city, focusing on Tekeli, a city in Almaty oblast.

Rafael Sattarov is a political analyst. He is a graduate of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He has a Master’s degree from the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He is a columnist of several editions in Russia and Kazakhstan and has edited articles on economics and politics in Forbes Russia,, and Russia Beyond the Headlines. He was a delegate of the Young Educational Leaders Program of NATO. His research interests include reforms of the socio-political and economic systems in the post-Soviet space, U.S.-Russia relations after the end of the Cold War, U.S. policy in Central Asia, international relations in Eurasia and the geopolitics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. During his fellowship, Rafael will look into the rise of conservative values and so-called spirituality in Uzbekistan and their relevance in modern-day Uzbek society.

Alexandra Tsay is an independent research fellow in cultural studies and an art curator based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She is involved in PaperLab: Public Policy Research Laboratory and Open Mind. Previously, she worked as a Senior Lecturer at International Information Technologies University in Almaty. Alexandra is an alumni of University of Warwick (UK), where she earned an MA in International Cultural Policy and Management, and KIMEP University (Kazakhstan), where she earned a BA in International Journalism and Mass Communication. She was a research fellow at Public Policy Initiative Program of Soros Foundation Kazakhstan in 2014-2015. During her fellowship, Alexandra will explore the cultural public sphere in Kazakhstan. Her hypothesis is that the cultural public sphere and artistic expressions are becoming an important arena for public debates, criticism and inventions of counter-discourses in societies with restricted freedom of the press and a shrinking political public sphere.

BerikbolBerikbol Dukeyev is a Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy and International Security Department at the Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Studies (KISI) under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He obtained an M.A. in Security and Politics at OSCE Academy in Bishkek and a B.A. with honors in Political Science at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Previously Berikbol worked at the Kazakhstan Center for Humanitarian and Political Trends in Almaty. He was a research fellow at the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan Public Policy Initiative in 2014.  His research areas are security issues in Central Asia, postcolonial theory application in Central Asia and Kazakhstan nation building. During his fellowship, Berikbol will explore the push and pull factors of the repatriation of ethnic Kazakhs from China, particularly issues of socio-economic integration and changing public perception towards the repatriation program.

Savia Hasanova_pic (1)Savia Hasanova is an economic expert at the Public Association “The Investment Round Table” in Kyrgyzstan. She is also a project manager at the Public Association “Women’s Forum Kurak.” She has worked on different research projects related to human development, particularly of vulnerable groups. Her recent experience involves drafting the UNDP report on human development and trade in Kyrgyzstan, including issues of sustainable economic development. She holds an MS degree in economics and management science from Humboldt University in Berlin. During her fellowship, Savia will study the effects of different types of social benefits on income inequality in Kyrgyzstan. The research will draw attention to rising income inequality in the country, as well as assess the effectiveness of current social policy with respect to monetary inequality reduction.

M.Ismayilov-GWUMurad Ismayilov is a doctoral researcher at Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies (PPSIS) at the University of Cambridge. He holds an MSt in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and an M.A. in International Relations from Baku State University. He has been awarded fellowships and research and visiting scholar grants from Open Society Institute Europe Foundation, Aleksanteri Institute, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Michigan State University’s Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (CERES), and NATO Studies Centre (Bucharest, Romania). During his fellowship, Murad will look into various aspects of the sociology of religious communities in Azerbaijan, including as part of broader contextual dynamics of state-society relations at the macro-state level.

SerikSerik Jaxylykov is a sociologist and works at a private research company in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He earned his M.A. in Sociology from the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Most of his professional background lies in sociology in different areas including socio-economic, socio-political studies (for the World Bank, UNDP, Oxford Policy Management, and the European Training Foundation) and marketing research for private companies. He was a fellow at the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan Public Policy Initiative in 2015-16. During his fellowship, Serik will research Kazakhstan’s internal migration issues, and examine government’s policy aimed at smoothing out the difference between the overpopulated South and the shrinking population in the North.

Bolashak Fellows

Erkin Eleussizov is a research projects manager and expert at the Center for Security Programs. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in GeoraphyEcology from Almaty State University. He has experience in the socio-political, cultural spheres, and worked at the Central Asian Agency of Political Research, Central Asian Press Club, CaspianNews Agency, the Center for Anti-Terrorism Programs, and Kazakhstan’s Political Science Association. His research interests include environmental safety and sustainable development. His current research concentrates on the impact of the climate change to the Central Asia.

Zhibek Ussembayeva, International Sandartization Processes, April-June 2016

Alma Utaubayeva, Pedagogy and Psychology, April-September 2016

Kairat Mussabekuly, U.S. Domestic Policy

Aizhan Arshabayeva, U.S. Foreign Policy

International Affairs

Serik Beissembayev (Social Fund “Centre for Social and Political Studies Strategy”)
Symbolic Boundaries of Ethnic Identity as an Issue for Nationbuilding in Kazakhstan

Zhaslan Nurbaev (Kazakh University of the Humanities and Law, Astana)
Regional Opinion on the Threat of Religious Extremism

Rabiga Baimbetova (Kazakh University of Technology and Business, Astana)
The Assembly of the People and the Management of Interethnic Relations in Kazakhstan

Gulnar Mamasharipova (M.Auezov South Kazakhstan State University, Chimkent)
Kazakhstan-US Relations Today

Mukhtar Baktybekov (Semipalatinsk Institute of Law of Kazakh Humanitarian Law University, Semei)
Kazakhstan’s Development as a Welfare State: Theories and Practices

Sergey Dyomin (Kazakh University of the Humanities and Law, Astana)
Foreign Investments through Joint-Ventures (on the basis on USA and Eurasian Union countries)

Arman Jumabayev (JSC Kazakh Humanitarian Law University)
Countering Economic Crisis in Kazakhstan. A Legal Perspective

Makhabbat Shakhmanova (Kazakh University of the Humanities and Law, Astana)
Establishing and Developing Consumer’s Rights in Kazakhstan


Education Management

Mansiya Kumisbayeva (University of International Business, Almaty)
Establishing and Developing Consumer’s Rights in Kazakhstan

Elmira Sarsenbayeva (Kazakh University of Technology and Business, Astana)
Effectiveness of Training Abroad for Master Students in Kazakhstan

Saltanat Khudaibergenova (Gymnasium 159, Almaty)
Malaysian Language Policy as an example for Kazakhstan?

Raushan Koilybayeva (Almaty Technological University)
How to Organize Student Research

Aigul Askerbek (High School No. 66, Astana)
The Challenges of Teaching Reading in High Schools 

Aizhuldyz Tolegen (High School No. 66, Astana)
How to learn English effectively at an early age?