Mr. Arthur V. Baghdasaryan has been holding the position of the Secretary of the National Security Council of the Republic of Armenia since 2008. From 2006 to 2008, he was a Deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, Head of the “Rule of Law” faction of the National Assembly. From 2003 to 2006, he acted as Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. From 1999 to 2003, he was a Deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, Head of the “Rule of Law” faction of the National Assembly. He was the Chairman of the RA NA Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs. Arthur Baghdasaryan has been the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the French University in Armenia since 2000 and the Chairman of the Board of Trusties of the European Regional Academy from 2002.
Dr. Jos Boonstra is senior researcher at FRIDE and Head of the EUCAM programme. Before joining FRIDE, he was programme manager at the Centre for European Security Studies (CESS), Groningen, The Netherlands. Jos has an MA in International Relations and an MA in History from the University of Groningen. His research focuses on Eurasian and transatlantic security issues (foremost EU, NATO and OSCE policies) as well as democratisation in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. His recent publications include Security Sector Reform in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: what role for Europe? (FRIDE, May 2013), European policies towards Tajikistan (FRIDE, December 2012) and ‘Challenging the South Caucasus security deficit’ (FRIDE, April 2011).
Dr. Mitat Çelikpala is Associate Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University, Istanbul where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Eurasian Security, Turkish Foreign Policy and the Caucasus politics, security and history, and supervises doctoral dissertations in these areas. His areas of expertise are the Caucasus, North Caucasian Diaspora, people and security in the Caucasus and Black Sea regions, Turkish-Russian relations, energy security and critical infrastructure protection. In addition to Kadir Has University, he is lecturing in Turkish War College and Turkish National Security and Military academies on Turkish foreign policy, politics, history and security in the Caucasus and Central Asia and Turkish political structure and life. He has several numbers of published academic articles and media coverage and analyses on above-mentioned areas.
Mr. Alexander Eliseev. Graduate of Moscow State Institute of International Affairs (University) (MGIMO). Starting 2013 – Program coordinator at Russian International Affairs Councils. Project management: “Russia and Big Caucasus”, “Middle East: Political Dynamics and Russia’s Interests”, “Central Asia After a Possible Withdrawal of Coalition Forces from Afghanistan”.
Dr. Tracey German is a senior lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, King’s College London. Dr German’s research focuses on conflict and security in the Caucasus and Caspian region, as well as energy issues in the region. Publications include Regional Cooperation in the South Caucasus: Good Neighbours or Distant Relatives?(Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2012) and Russia’s Chechen War (Routledge, 2003), as well as articles in journals such as European Security, Europe-Asia Studies, Small Wars and Insurgencies, Central Asian Survey, Vestnik analitiki and Politique étrangère.
Prof. Giorgi Gogsadze – PhD in Human Geography, Professor, Head of Department of Human Geography at Tbilisi State University. He is the Executive Director of the NGO “Levan Mikeladze Foundation”. He is the author and co-author of more than 30 academic articles on the issues of ethnic conflicts, geopolitics, democracy building and elections published in Georgian, English, Italian, German, and Russian languages. Just recently has completed a research on minority integration in Georgia (case of Javakheti) funded by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the South Caucasus.
Mr. Vali Kaleji, MA in International Relations, University of Tehran, is currently a research fellow at the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) in Tehran. He has authored several research and policy papers on Central Asia and Caucasus. His recent books (in Persian) are: “Political Trends in Armenia”, “Security Developments in South Caucasus” and South Caucasus as a Regional Security Complex, foreword by Shirin Akiner.
Dr. Mohammad Hassan Khani is an Associate professor of International Relations at Imam Sadiq University in Tehran. He is a graduate of Peace Studies Department at Bradford University in UK. He has acted as: Head of Department of International Relations at ISU since 2000. Dr. Khani is a Fellow Researcher at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) since 2002; Member of Editorial Board of Central Asia Review Quarterly published by IPIS since 2004; Member of Editorial Board of Political Knowledge Quarterly published by ISU since 2005. His views and analyses have been reflected in form of articles in and interviews with: Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, NPR, ABC News, BBC World, Russia Today, CCTV, Press TV, Al-Alaam, As-Safir, Al-Jazeerah English, and different Iranian Weekly Magazines& Daily Newspapers.
Dr. Kemal Kirişci is the TÜSİAD senior fellow and director of the Center on the United States and Europe’s Turkey Project at Brookings, with an expertise in Turkish foreign policy and migration studies. Before joining Brookings, Kirişci was a professor of international relations and held the Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. His areas of research interest include EU-Turkish relations, Turkish foreign policy, European integration, asylum, border management, and immigration issues in the European Union, ethnic conflicts, and refugee movements.
Mr. William Lahue is a Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia/ NATO, Liaison Officer in South Caucasus since 2011. Mr. Lahue graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1983 with a B.A. in Soviet Studies and has a Masters’ Degree (1995) in Russian and East European Studies from Indiana University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Joint Staff Course, Joint Forces Staff College. Mr. Lahue served over 20 years in the U.S. Army beginning his service as an infantry officer and ending his career as a Foreign Area Officer having actively participated in the establishment of bilateral defense and security relationships with the countries of Central Asia. Career highlights include service as an infantry officer in Germany, as an intelligence officer in Japan, Deputy G2 and Chief of G2 Plans in the U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, acting Defense Attaché in Tajikistan, Central Asia Political-Military Analyst in the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Central Asia Desk Officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Chief of the U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation in Almaty, Kazakhstan. After retiring from the Army, Mr. Lahue set up a consulting firm in which he worked on a wide variety of commercial and U.S. government projects in Central Asia.
Col (Ret.) Christopher Langton is the head of the not-for-profit group, Independent Conflict Research & Analysis (ICRA) that specialises in raising generic conflict issues of relevance in the 21st Century. ICRA also conducts conflict analysis training courses. Before founding ICRA Christopher held appointments at IISS as Senior Fellow for Conflict and Defence Diplomacy, Editor of The Military Balance, and Research Fellow for Russia and the CIS. Previously he served 32 years in the British Army with service in Northern Ireland, deputy of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia, and military and defence attaché posts in Russia, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. He was a member of the EU Council of Ministers’ Independent international Fact- finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia 2008.
Ambassador Katherine Leach joined the FCO in 2000, following a career in academia and public opinion research. She has many years of experience in and knowledge of the history, languages and culture of the South Caucasus and the wider region. Her FCO career has covered a range of policy areas, including security policy, EU trade and development, energy security and human rights. In 2007- Jan 2011 she was posted in the British Embassy in Tokyo as First Secretary of Energy and Environment. She spent three years (2002-2004) in the British Embassy in Moscow, heading first the External Political Section and later serving as a First Secretary of the Internal Political Section. In 1993 – 2000, she was Survey Research Executive in the private and NGO sectors.
Dr. Sergey Markedonov is an Associate Professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities (Department of Regional Studies and Foreign Policy). From 2010, May to 2013, October he was a Visiting Fellow at Russia and Eurasia program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, DC, USA). Previously, in 2001 – 2010, he worked as a head of the Interethnic Relations Group and deputy director at the Institute for Political and Military Analysis in Moscow. From 2006 to 2010, he also held teaching positions at the Russian State University for the Humanities, the Moscow State University, and the Diplomatic Academy. He is an expert on the Caucasus, as well as Black Sea, regional security, nationalism, interethnic conflicts and de facto states in the post-Soviet area. His publications include several books and reports, about 100 academic articles, and more than 500 press pieces.
Mr. Wayne Merry is Senior Fellow for Europe and Eurasia at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC. In twenty-six years in the United States Foreign Service, he worked as a diplomat and political analyst specializing in Soviet and post-Soviet political issues, including six years at the American Embassy in Moscow, where he was in charge of political analysis on the breakup of the Soviet Union and the early years of post-Soviet Russia. He also served at the embassies in Tunis, East Berlin, and Athens and at the US Mission to the United Nations in New York. In Washington he served in the Treasury, State, and Defense Departments. In the Pentagon he was Regional Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia during the mid-Nineties. He also served at the Headquarters of the US Marine Corps and on Capitol Hill with the staff of the US Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He was later a program director at the Atlantic Council of the United States. He is widely published and a frequent speaker on topics relating to Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus, the Balkans, European security and trans-Atlantic relations.
A career diplomat, Ambassador Samvel Mkrtchian, Director, Department for Arms Control and International Security, took up his current position in December 2010. Before, he was Head of the Mission of the Republic of Armenia to NATO for more than six years since September 2004 until December 2010. The Mission as a distinct diplomatic representation was established with the assignment of Ambassador Mkrtchian. Prior to that, Mr. Mkrtchian was the Director of Europe Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1994 to 2000 he served as the Deputy Head of Armenian Delegation to the OSCE, Alternate Permanent Representative of Armenia to UNOV, UNIDO and IAEA. He was also performing in the function of Charge d ‘affairs to Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia for the period of 1997-1998. Ambassador Mkrtchian was the Armenian negotiator of the Adapted CFE Treaty from 1996 to 1999. He was a member of Armenian negotiation team for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group from 1995 to 1997.
Dr. Gayane Novikova is the founding director of the Center for Strategic Analysis in Yerevan, Armenia (since 2001). She was a Visiting Scholar at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University (2008-2013) and a Visiting Lecturer in the International Relations Department at Boston University (2011, 2013). Her areas of expertise cover international relations and regional security issues, including ethno-political conflicts and unconventional threats, Russia’s politics in the South Caucasus, and the EU Eastern Neighborhood Policy. She is the author of several books, dedicated to the developments in security area in the Middle East and the South Caucasus. Since 2004, Dr. Novikova has been President of the George C. Marshall Center Alumni Association of Armenia. She is a member of PfP Consortium Regional Stability in the South Caucasus.
Mr. Sergey Porkhachev. Journalist, observer at the Central Asian information portal. Member of Public Council of Nationalities. Post-graduate student of Ural Federal University (institute of social and political science), Analyst at the Center for European and Asian studies. The adviser of the Rector’s counselor at the Ural State University of Economics. Research interests: EU, USA and Russia policy in the South Caucasus, NATO and OSCE roles in the region.
Prof. Dr. Ruben Safrastyan is the Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies and Corresponding Member of Armenian National Academy of Sciences. He is also Member of Public Council of Armenia and Chairman of his Commission of Religion, Diaspora, and International Integration. Prof. Safrastyan is founding editor of the Academic Periodicals “The Turkic and Ottoman Studies” and “Contemporary Eurasia”. In the past, he served as a Counselor of the Armenian Embassy in Germany and was the Deputy Director of the Department of Political Analysis for the Office of the President of Armenia. His areas of specialization include Turkish, Genocide, and Regional Studies.
LTC(ret.) Sergey L. Sargsyan, Senior Analyst of the Center for Strategic Analysis, Armenia, and since Jan 2010, Deputy Director of the Center for Political Studies, “Noravank” Foundation. Author of two books, and about 70 articles. Prior to joining the Center for Strategic Analysis, he was in MoD, and NSS. Member of the PfP Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes (Combating Terrorism WG). Co-founder and Member of the Board, George C. Marshall Center Armenian Alumni Association.
Dr. David Shahnazaryan is a Chairman of the Center for Legal and Political Studies “Concord”(Yerevan, Armenia). He is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, being in 1992-95, the Ambassador of the President of Armenia on Special Missions. In 1994-95, was the Head of National Security Service of Republic of Armenia, and the Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Armenia in 1991-95 and 1995-99. In 1988-1991, was a Member of the Leadership of All-Armenian National Movement.
Dr. Alexander Skakov. From 2009 to present, A. Skakov is a Senior Research Associate, coordinator of the working group of the Center for Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Volga-Urals of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow). Since 2012 he is a Head of the Center for Applied Ethnology of the Institute of Social Policy, Academy of Labor and Social Relations (ATIS) and an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at ATIS. His research interests include conflictology and history of the Caucasus. In 1998, he worked as a Research Fellow in the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies (RISS) and from 2000 to 2009, was the Head of the Department of the CIS of this institute. A. Skakov is the author of over 150 publications dealing with the political science, archaeology, ethnology, history and cultural studies. Member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Caucasus.
Dr. George Tarkhan-Mouravi is co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Tbilisi, Georgia, and current chair of the board of the Georgian Political Science Association. Has been involved in developing civic sector in Georgia, and has published a number of papers, book chapters and articles in the areas of regional politics and security, democratic transition, identity politics, interethnic relations and conflicts, development and poverty studies.
Dr. Arif Yunusov was a research officer of the Institute of History under the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan in 1972-1992. In 1992, he headed the Information Analysis Center of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan and in 1993-1994, was the President of “Azeri” Analysis Center. Since 1995, he has been the Head of Department of Conflict and Migration Studies of the Institute for Peace and Democracy. Dr. Yunusov is an expert of the Independent Research Council on Migration in the CIS and Baltic States, as well as of the International Network of Ethnological Monitoring and Early Conflict Prevention. He has authored over 230 articles and 8 books on history and problems of present-day Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus.