CGI’s inaugural Rising Experts Program of 2014-2015 focused on the theme “Beyond Cold War Thinking: New Approaches to US-Russia Relations in a Global Context.”
2014-2015 Rising Experts:
Alec Albright is a graduate student at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service Russia, Eastern European, and Eurasian Center. He holds a BA summa cum laude in Political Science and Russian from the University of Minnesota. His research interests include Russia’s economy, innovative markets in Russia and Eastern Europe, and corporate law.
Bryan Furman is pursuing his M.A. in Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown University as a Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellow. Before starting graduate school, Bryan received a 2013-2014 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Tajikistan, where he researched the influence of donor organizations on psychosocial service provision. As part of the Rising Experts Program, Bryan is exploring routes for U.S.-Russia cooperation in combatting the Islamic State (IS). In particular, he is examining the ways in which both countries have sought to stem the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria. Bryan is applying research into the motivations of foreign fighters to provide targeted recommendations to U.S. and Russian policymakers. Because deteriorating U.S.-Russia relations make direct government-to-government collaboration less likely, Bryan hopes to identify people-to-people mechanisms for supporting U.S.-Russia dialogue.
Leslie Martin is pursuing her M.A. in Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. In May 2014, Leslie graduated from Kenyon College cum laude, where she double majored in Political Science and Russian Area Studies. Leslie studied abroad for two summers in St. Petersburg and for two summers at the Kathryn Davis School of Russian at Middlebury College. As part of the Rising Experts Program, Leslie is researching the Sino-Russian partnership from the perspective of interpersonal relations between citizens of both countries. Specifically, she is exploring the effectiveness of Chinese soft power amongst Russian elite and Russian youth. Leslie’s additional research interests include Russo-Belorussian relations and Russian celebrity culture in the Putin era.
Yelena Osipova is a PhD Candidate at the School of International Service, American University, where she is working on her dissertation titled “Public Diplomacy in Transition: Negotiating Russian Identity and Soft Power.” Yelena’s primary research interests are in international communication, public diplomacy, and identity politics in Eurasia, but she also works on a broad range of other issues including Russian foreign policy, conflict resolution, and new media. Throughout her doctoral studies, Yelena has received fellowships from the American University, the Open Society Foundation, and the Gulbenkian Foundation, and has presented at several national and international conferences. In the past, she has worked for the Armenian Reporter in Washington DC and blogged for the RuNet Echo section on Global Voices Online. Yelena’s international research experience includes projects in Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia. Originally from Armenia, Yelena holds a BA from the American University in Bulgaria, and an MA from the School of International Service, American University.