New Associate Regional Director at CRRC

I am excited to be the new Associate Regional Director at CRRC and to work with a staff dedicated to constantly improving the quality of data from the South Caucasus. I aim to promote new social science research and to ensure a vibrant and local research community in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

I am a California native who specializes in comparative politics, post-communist politics and both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. A few of my academic interests include nationalism and the intersection of politics and religion, especially in the post-Soviet region. My current research focuses on secular regimes and state engagement with religion in post-Soviet Eurasia.

My journey in the post-Soviet region began in 1999 when I first visited Irkutsk, Russia in Eastern Siberia as a participant in an environmental exchange program (The Tahoe-Baikal Institute). I lived with a Buryat family that summer and began to study the political history of the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and the 15 post-Soviet countries. In the following years, I traveled or worked throughout Western Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (as well as much of Eastern Europe and many other parts of the world).

I was able to combine my persistent interest with this region with the political and methodological training that I had received at the University of California, Berkeley where I am a current Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science and where I completed my second Master’s degree in 2005. I also earned a M.A. in Russian and Eurasian Studies at the European University of St. Petersburg, Russia in 2003 and a B.A. at the University of California, Davis where I studied Russian and Mathematics. This prior training also contributed to my combination of area studies and methodological knowledge that I hope to employ at CRRC.

As Associate Regional Director, I will endeavor to strengthen the quality of social science research and publications, as well as public policy analysis in the region. I also look forward to working with the CRRC team in all three countries, Eurasia Partnership Foundation, local community members, and various organizations that are also enthusiastic about and committed to our vision.