Governance/ Development
Extremism/ Terrorism
Cybersecurity/ Cyberhygiene
Building on the expertise and experience of young outstanding Central Asian scholars and experts, the CAISS aims to introduce fresh ideas and perspectives, new insights, thorough analysis to Central Asian Studies. CAISS engages policymakers, experts, the public and academia with innovative ideas and analysis, fact-based research to influence national and regional debates.

CAISS primary mission is to conduct interdisciplinary, applied and collaborative research on a wide range of security, political, economic and development issues, provide consulting services and organize academic events with a particular focus on Central Asia and broader Eurasian Neighborhood. Institute's research is independent and non-partisan.

Board of Trustees
Director, counter terrorism professional
Associate, Energy Security
Associate, Migration and Mobility, Gender Studies
Senior Advisor, Marketing and Planning
Anna Gussarova
Director, counter terrorism professional.

Previously, she has served as a senior research fellow at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the past 5 years, covering transnational and cyber security, violent extremism and deradicalization issues. She graduated with a major in American Studies and holds a master's degree in Central Asia Security Studies. She is the president of national alumni association of the European George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany). She also graduated from Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (Honolulu, USA), Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (Washington D.C., USA), Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Institute (Moscow, Russia) and Elliott School of International Relations (George Washington University). Ms. Gussarova was awarded with a special National Anniversary Medal '20 years of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan' for contribution to the social harmony in the country and unity of the people of Kazakhstan, promotion of Kazakhstan experience of peace and harmony abroad and development of mutually beneficial and friendly relations between the people of Kazakhstan and other nationals as well as with the Certificate of Honor from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Among other things, she teaches 'Multilateral Diplomacy', 'International Terrorism' and 'Cyber Technologies and Cyber Security' courses at the German-Kazakh University in Almaty and the OSCE Academy in Bishkek.
Daria Larionova
Senior Advisor, Marketing and Planning.

Mrs. Larionova is in charge of CAISS development, strategic planning and project management. With the background of International relations, she has vast experience in working for international corporations with the focus on Central Asia and Caucasus from the business and marketing perspective. Her research interests include the concept of soft power and international security.
Svetlana Dzardanova
Associate, Migration and Mobility, Gender Studies

Previously, she worked as Programme Manager of the MA Programme in Politics and Security and earlier as Research and Training Coordinator at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Svetlana holds MA in Political Science focused on Central Asian politics and security from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and BA (Hon.) in Organizational and Industrial Psychology from the American University of Central Asia. She has written on broad specter of intersecting and regionally focused topics of peace and security, resources, cooperation and international involvement in Central Asia and Afghanistan. She contributed to a number of regional research projects working with the Centre for OSCE Research (CORE) in Hamburg, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC). Her recent project with the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) aimed at changing the perception of bride kidnapping by informing and involving young people of Kyrgyzstan. Currently, Svetlana is interested in topics of migration and mobility, variety of gender issues, including economic inclusion and sustainable human development.
Dr. Farkhod Aminjonov
Associate, Energy Security

Previously, he worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Eurasian Research Institute of Akhmet Yassawi International Kazakh–Turkish University, where he contributed to Institute's work on energy, finance, and security. Dr. Aminjonov is currently engaged in a number of collaborative projects with the Canadian, German, Norwegian, U.S. and Turkish research institutions as well as international organizations, such as International Organization for Migration. He also has an experience conducting research at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo, Norway. Farkhod Aminjonov holds a Ph.D. in global governance from Wilfrid Laurier University/ Balsillie School of International Affairs (Canada), an M.A. in international area studies from the University of Tsukuba (Japan), an M.A. in political science from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and a B.A. (Hon.) in international law from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (Uzbekistan). Dr. Aminjonov has a track record of publications (journal articles, reports, policy papers, etc.) and teaching experience in the department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. Energy security and security of the Central Asian energy systems, energy governance innovations, pipeline politics, trans-boundary water management and hydropower sector development as well as foreign and domestic energy policies lie in the hub of his research interests.
Dr. Pal Dunay
Professor, George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies
Henriette Keifer
Regional Director, Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan)
Peer Teschendorf
Desk Officer, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Berlin Office)
Dr. Irina Chernykh
Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Kazakhstan
Dr. Lessya Karatayeva
Dr. Nargis Kassenova
Director, Central Asian Studies Center (CASC) KIMEP University, Senior Fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
Dr. Sanat Kushkumbayev
Dr. Timur Shaimergenov
International Information Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Dr. Bulat Sultanov
Director, Institute for International and Regional Cooperation, German-Kazakh University in Almaty
Dr. Tolganay Umbetaliyeva
Director General, "Central Asian Foundation for the Development of Democracy" Public Foundation (Almaty)
Dr. Talant Sultanov
Dr. Gregory Gleason
Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico; Professor of Security Studies, Director of Central Asia Program, George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies
Former director, National Institute for Strategic Studies, former advisor to the Prime Minister
Dr. Roger Kangas
Academic Dean, Professor of Central Asian Studies, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies
Dr. Marlene Laruelle
Dr. Rustam Burnashev
Farrukh Irnazarov
Country Director, Central Asian Development Institute (Tashkent)
Dr. Mirzokhid Rahimov
Head, Department of Contemporary History and International Relations, Institute of History of Academy of Science of Republic of Uzbekistan
Hekmatullah Azamy
Research analyst at the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies since 2012. He has written extensively on local and transnational groups operating in and from Afghanistan. He has published articles discussing crime-terror nexus, Taliban relationships with key state and non-state supporters in the region and the group's ties with other militant groups including Central Asia-centric transnational Islamists. Hekmatullah keeps abreast with the development in peace process with the Taliban. He holds Bachelor in Economics.
Areas of expertise: socio-political issues, security, Afghanistan-Pakistan, militant groups, transnational Islamists, Central Asia.
Nassipkul Dyussembekova
Nassipkul holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of High-Voltage Technology and Electrical Power Systems, Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany. She is a Board member of Association for Energy audits in Kazakhstan.
Areas of expertise – energy, energy security, energy audit.
Ruslan Izimov
Sinologist, head of the Center for China and Central Asia Studies: "Synopsis". He has gained an extensive experience working as a leading researcher at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan for six years. Ruslan Izimov was awarded a number of international internships in the Chinese think tanks, including the Chinese Academy of Contemporary International Relations, the Shanghai Academy of International Studies, the Russian Studies Center of Shanghai University of World Languages, etc.
Areas of expertise –Sinology, China's foreign policy, geopolitics, regional security
Gaukhar Nursha
A non-profit expert and currently pursues her doctoral degree in International Relations at the Al-Farabi KazNU. Gaukhar has a broad work experience in CSO sector of Kazakhstan. She worked at the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia as a manager of projects sponsored by the United Nations Democracy Fund, the European Union and NCOC. Her project on Strengthening Kazakhstani CSOs downward accountability practices was the first to research and raise these issues among the public. Gaukhar is also a curator of Global Shapers Almaty Hub, a world wide youth organization initiated by the World Economic Forum. She focuses on providing equal opportunities for teenagers from low-income families and gender issues.
Areas of expertise –Sinology, China's foreign policy, geopolitics, regional security
Lidiya Parkhomchik
Branch Director, IWEP Almaty Office. Previously, she served as a Senior Research Fellow at the Eurasian Research Institute of Akhmet Yassawi International Kazakh-Turkish University. Mrs. Parkhomchik is heading a Politics, Foreign Policy and Security research group. After graduation from the International Relations Department in 2006, she combined lecturer's position with the postgraduate studies KazUIR & WL. Lidiya Parkhomchik has an extensive experience working at Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of RK as research fellow and since 2011 senior research fellow.
Areas of expertise – Caspian region, energy, transportation, regional cooperation, security.
Alexandra Tsay
Alexandra Tsay is an alumni of University of Warwick, UK (MA in International Cultural Policy and Management), and KIMEP University, Kazakhstan (BA in International Journalism and Mass Communication). She has an extensive experience working for both local and international organizations, such as UNDP-GEF project. Alexandra is interested in curatorial practices and contemporary art and has a background in communications and journalism.
Areas of expertise – cultural studies, cultural capital and civic development.
Karlygash Kabatova
Author of A researcher currently interested in how society development and sexuality education interrelate. Karlygash is a member of the Astana-based PaperLab Research Group, and her recent work experience includes organizing open expert discussions at PaperLab, student recruitment for the University of Central Asia, and data analysis for the Norwegian Helsinki Committee's human rights project.
Areas of expertise – sexuality education.
Yevgeniy Khon
Yevgeniy Khon holds Master's Degree in Public Policy with the concentration in International Relations and Political Economy from KDI School of Public Policy and Management (Seoul, South Korea). Following his graduate studies, Mr. Khon worked his way up from research fellow to the Head of Department of Economic Studies at Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of RK. He has been a visiting researcher at Seoul National University and Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, as well as recipient of G-20 Korea Global Leaders Fellowship.
Areas of expertise – political economy, transport corridors, development and economic growth, and China-Central Asia relations.
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Bermet Imanalieva
Executive director and co-founder of the "Asia Consulting" public fund. Graduated from University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom. Previously, she has worked as research officer at the political department, National Institute for Strategic Studies of the Kyrgyz Republic. Ms. Imanalieva also worked as advisor to Bishkek Branch of the International Institute on Monitoring Democracy Development, Parliamentarianism of the IPA CIS. She is a Fellow of Central Asia and the Caucasus Academic Research Programs and a member of the Kyrgyz Association of Political and Economic Sciences and Society of the Central Eurasian Studies (CESS). Ms. Imanalieva is currently completing her PhD at the International University of Kyrgyzstan.
Areas of expertise – political processes in Central Asia, regional cooperation, elections, political parties.
Diana Mamatova
A young professional in the areas of peacebuilding, development and program management, and policy research. She worked with international NGO ACTED during the posthumanitarian and development phases following the June 2010 inter-ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan, and more recently with the United Nations in Kyrgyzstan, where she managed a nationwide research project on gender issues and peacebuilding.
Areas of expertise – peacebuilding and development.
Nargiza Murataliyeva
Editor of the Central Asian Bureau of Analytical Reporting (, a project of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR). She is also an Associate Professor of Political Science Department of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University. Dr. Murataliyeva worked as a senior research fellow at the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Prognosis for eight years. She has an experience conducting research at Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany. Author of more than 30 scientific articles and monographs.
Areas of expertise – security, political processes in Central Asia, international organizations.
Bekhruz Yodgorov
Regional Representative, Office of Strategy and Development in Broadcasting Board of Governors. His work experience includes OSCE Office in Tajikistan in Counter Terrorism Department, Violent Extremism and Radicalisation Lead to Terrorism (VERLT) project; UN, WFP Office in Tajikistan; Political Analyst, ODIHR Mission, Parliamentary Election in Tajikistan 2015 and Project Officer, Oxfam Great Britain office in Tajikistan. He holds MA Degree in Political Science and Security from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Areas of expertise – conflict prevention, counterterrorism, peacebuilding.
Akmal Abdullaev
Lecturer and a Ph.D candidate at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (UWED). He holds master's degree in Middle East and Central Asian security studies from the University of St Andrews and political science from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. He received bachelor's degree in international relations from the UWED. Mr. Abdullaev has a far-reaching record of presenting papers at international academic events held in Central Asia, Europe and the USA. In addition to academia, he has an extensive experience working for private sector and UN agencies in Uzbekistan.
Areas of expertise – social movements, Islamic activism and organized crime in Central Asia.
Bahtiyor Eschanov
Senior lecturer at Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Bahtiyor Eshchanov holds a PhD degree in Applied Economics from Vrije Universiteit Brussels and MSc in Sustainable Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. He is implementing two projects on renewable energy under the Committee for Coordination of Science and Technology Development under the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan (UZSCIENCE) and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Promotion in International Cooperation (REPIC) fund of the Swiss Government.
Areas of expertise – energy policy analysis, climate action and renewable energy development, water-energy-food nexus in Central Asia.
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