Valeria Bondareva is a second-year graduate student at the American University’s School of International Service in Washington, D.C., where she studies U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security. She holds her B.A. in International Relations and American Studies from Saint Petersburg State University in Russia. Her research interests include U.S.-Russia relations, democratic transitions in the post-Soviet space and Russian foreign policy in the Middle East. In 2014-2015, Valeria participated in the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum and explored the challenges of U.S.-Russia nuclear cooperation in the aftermath of Ukraine crisis. Valeria has experience in the government of Leningrad region and non-profit organizations in both Russia and the U.S. 

De MayoGiovanna Di Mauro
is a PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews, UK. She holds an M.A. in Expressive Arts in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation from the European Graduate School, an M.A. in Interdisciplinary European Studies from the College of Europe and a Laurea in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University L’ Orientale of Naples. She has worked for the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the think-tank Europanova and the NGO OSE France in Paris, and for and the Italian-Moldovan Chamber of Commerce in Chisinau. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at the George Washington University. Her research focuses on the political engagement of artists in Moldova.


FreseSarah Frese is the Executive Director of the U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Association. She is also a contributor to Oxford Analytica, a political and macroeconomic consulting agency, where she previously worked on engagements ranging from strategic development in the public and private sectors to targeted analytical work for clients focused on international business issues, energy, economic diversification, and monitoring of the Eurasia region. Prior to joining Oxford Analytica, Sarah worked as the Coordinator of the Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum (now the Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit) at Atlantic Council; she coordinated the Summit’s first two annual meetings in Bucharest and Istanbul in 2009 and 2010, respectively, as well as meetings in Serbia and Washington, DC. Ms. Frese is a member Eurasia Foundation’s Young Professionals Network, 2014-15 cohort. She graduated from Central Collegeof Iowa with her B.A. and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with her M.A. in Eurasian Russian and East European Studies.


Nina Jankowicz is a Program Officer at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where she manages the Institute’s Russia and Belarus portfolios. Prior to joining NDI, she interned at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator of Assistance to Europe and Eurasia and IREX. Nina received her MA in 2013 from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, where she concentrated her research and coursework on the Eastern Partnership and Polish-Russian relations. She also holds BA from Bryn Mawr College, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2011 and double majored in Russian and Political Science. She speaks fluent Russian and proficient Polish and has lived and studied in Russia. Nina’s research interests include Europe’s eastern policy and the role of social media in driving conflict and connection in the post-Soviet space.

Twitter: @wiczipedia 


Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 1.47.44 PMSean Keeley is an associate at Blue Star Strategies, a government affairs firm in downtown DC. He graduated from Boston College in May 2015 with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Russian, and he spent the spring 2014 semester studying in St. Petersburg with the Bard-Smolny program. Sean also participated in the 2014-2015 Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum (SURF), and wrote a senior thesis analyzing the Obama administration’s “reset” policy. He has also written about U.S.-Russian relations for The National Interest online. Sean is particularly interested in the way that domestic political pressures affect U.S. and Russian foreign policy. 

Twitter: @seankeeley


JackieJackie Koo is a Masters candidate at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and is concentrating in International Economics and Russian and Eurasian studies. This past summer, she worked at the Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow, where she supported the think tank’s Asia-Pacific program. Prior to attending SAIS, Jackie served as a political appointee of the Obama Administration and worked on international economic policy issues at the White House National Security Council and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Jackie completed her undergraduate studies in International Politics at Georgetown University. She is Taiwanese American and was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and is fluent in English and Japanese, proficient in Mandarin Chinese, and is currently learning Russian. Her research interests include Russia’s relations with the Asia-Pacific region, the political economies of Central Asia, and the roles of Internet freedom and cyber policy on economic and political development in Eurasia.


BilyanaBilyana Lilly is an international relations expert specializing in Russian foreign and domestic policy, NATO, U.S. foreign policy and international security. She has worked for a number of international organizations, think tanks and universities, including the Brookings Institution, Eurasia Foundation, Small Arms Survey, and Oxford University. Bilyana has represented the Republic of Bulgaria in Geneva at intergovernmental consultation meetings with the European Union states and at the 50th Session of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament. She has consulted for the global analysis and advisory firm Oxford Analytica and the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has published a book on Russian foreign policy on missile defense and reports of various lengths on nuclear terrorism, populism in Europe, the INF Treaty, EU sanctions against Russia, etc. She graduated with honors from Oxford University, UK. She also holds a master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland.

Twitter: @BilyanaLilly


SusannahSusannah Marshall currently serves as a Staff Assistant in the United States Senate. She graduated with honors and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago, where she studied Diplomatic History, Human Rights, and East Asian Studies. Her thesis, Security and Co-operation in America, focused on the role President Carter’s administration played in shaping the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).Susannah is primarily focused on diplomatic and security relationships in Europe and Asia, including regional and international collective security and human rights agreements. She is interested in how international law modifies or constrains states’ actions. She has previously interned at the State Department, the Center for American Progress, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Susannah grew up in Edina, Minnesota, and speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.



DjordjeDjordje Milosevic is pursuing his M.A. degree in Strategic Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Djordje earned his bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Belgrade. Parallel with his undergraduate studies, he had an opportunity to work at UNDP/SEESAC (South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of the Small Arms and Light Weapons) as the Communication Assistant for 18 months. During the summer of 2015, he interned for the Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow, where he gained an in-depth knowledge of the contemporary Russian foreign policy. Currently, Djordje is a Research Assistant at the Transatlantic Academy for the Academy’s 2016 policy theme “Russia and the West”. His academic interests mostly focus on the area of security and conflict prevention with special emphasis on the post-Soviet region and the Balkans.

Twitter: @djordje_fpn


NoonanJoshua Noonan is a Presidential Management Fellow at the Department of Defense. He is an alumnus of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he studied International Economic and Russian and Eurasian Studies. He holds a BA in international studies with a focus on East Asia and Political Science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a Community Economic Development Advisor in Sheki and Zaqatala, Azerbaijan and then taught English in Almaty, Kazakhstan for an Exxon-Mobile sponsored English program at the National Physics and Mathematics Boarding School. He also received a Fulbright fellowship to Azerbaijan and Georgia. There he compared Azeris in Azerbaijan and Azeris in Georgia and the differences in their attitudes toward political participation. During his studies at SAIS, he worked at the Kennan Institute on Azerbaijani IDP Issues.

Twitter: @JoshuaNoonan


ParkAllen Park is currently a research analyst for the International Food Policy Research Institute, where he monitors agriculture, economic development, and food security issues in the former Soviet republics. Allen’s interest in the region extends back to his Peace Corps service in Niyazov-era Turkmenistan. Between IFPRI and Peace Corps, Allen also served as a refugee officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he interviewed refugees on location throughout the Middle East and East Africa. While at DHS, Allen also covered European affairs and performed a rotation at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium. Allen received a B.A. in History at Yale University and an M.P.P. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.


RyanRyan Roccio currently works as a Program Officer at the Institute of International Education (IIE). Before joining IIE, he served as Resident Director for Arizona State University’s intensive Russian language program in the Republic of Georgia. He served four years in the United States Marine Corps and deployed to Afghanistan in 2008. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in Russian from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. His research interests include Russia’s bilateral relationships with former Soviet republics in Central Asia and the Caucasus, Eurasian integration, and the less-studied regions of the Russian Federation.


ArmenArmen V. Sahakyan specializes in International Political Economy and Eurasian Affairs. He serves as the Executive Director of the Eurasian Research and Analysis – ERA Institute, specializing in geopolitical, socioeconomic, and security affairs of the region. He is the author of over twenty articles and has presented his research at several academic conferences, including at Georgetown University, American Benefit-Cost Analysis Society, and Northeast Political Science Association. In the past Mr. Sahakyan has served as an Adviser to the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia to United Nations in New York as well as a Research Associate at the European Institute in Washington, DC.  He holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he was also the Vice President of the Russia and Eurasia Club. Mr. Sahakyan received his B.A. in International Political Economy from Bloomfield College graduating summa cum laude and as the Valedictorian of the Class.

Twitter: @ArmenVS


Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 4.07.47 PMAaron Schwartzbaum is a researcher at Eurasia Group, on the Eurasia and Global Macro teams. Prior to joining Eurasia Group, he worked at International Investment Partners, a boutique investment banking firm in New York that operates in the mining and minerals sector and Ukraine. Aaron previously interned with the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He also founded Russian Media Center, a Russian news translation project, where he had a piece published in The Guardian. Aaron holds a BA in Political Science and Russian from Haverford College. Following graduation, he spent an academic year in St. Petersburg, Russia with the Overseas Language Flagship Program. Aaron’s interests relating to Russia include strategic and military issues, the North Caucasus, and economic policy. 

Twitter: @aaron_schwa


EugeneEugene Steinberg is an assistant editor at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Previously, he was a program associate in CFR’s New York office, working closely with Senior Fellows Michael A. Levi and John Campbell. His research interests have focused on the evolution of Russian and Ukrainian press, democracy movements, and oligarchy, as well as broader Russian geopolitical strategy and ideology. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, the National Interest, Al-Jazeera America, and elsewhere. He holds a BA in international relations and a BS in quantitative economics from Tufts University.

Twitter: @EugSteinberg


BrianneBrianne Todd is an Assistant Professor of Central Asian Studies at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, where her areas of expertise include transnational threats and regional security issues in Central Asia, Russia, and the Caucasus. Before joining the NESA Center in January 2010, she worked at the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute, where she analyzed U.S. and foreign defense, intelligence, and homeland security and counterterrorism policies; and the Eurasian Strategy Project. Additionally, she previously worked for the U.S. Department of State, where she was awarded the Franklin Award (2004). In addition to developing and facilitating the NESA Center’s programs in and with the countries of Central Asia, Professor Todd is a regular lecturer for the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management (DISAM) at Wright-Patterson AFB, the US Air Force Special Operations School at Hurlburt Field, and the Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace Program (LDESP). Professor Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Russian Language & Literature, and Russian & East European Studies from the University of Notre Dame (2004, cum laude) and a Master of Arts degree in Eurasian, Russian & East European Studies from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (2009). She is currently completing her doctorate (Ph.D.) in the School of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.


NicNic Wondra holds an MA in International Economics & International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Cornell College in Russian & International Relations. A Fulbright Fellow in the Republic of Georgia (2009-2011) where he studied the politics of decentralization and education reform, he has also worked on the US Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative as an intern in the politics & economics section of the US Embassy in Armenia. He has additional experience in Russia, Ukraine, and Tajikistan. His other research interests include security institutionalism, Caucasus and Central Asian security issues, and protracted conflicts in the former Soviet Space. He works as a contractor on Nonproliferation issues at the U.S. Department of Energy.