Natalya BELITSER, Professor, Expert/Researcher at the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy. Her area of expertise includes issues of interethnic relations, minorities and indigenous peoples’ rights, ethnopolitical conflict prevention, and human security. She is author of a number of publications on Crimea, post-Soviet “frozen conflicts” and related issues, contributor to collective monographs as, e.g., “Interethnic Relations, Minority Rights and Security Concerns: A Four-Countries Perspective (Hungary – Moldova – Romania – Ukraine)”, 2008; “Effective Institutional Responses for Combating Intolerance and Extremism in the Black Sea Region”, 2009. She is a member of a number of professional networks, including Civic Expert Council (Ukraine), Black Sea Peacebuilding Network, Eastern Europe/GPPAC, East European Security Research Initiative et al.
Grazvydas JASUTIS, PhD, Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva; he teaches at Institute of International Relations and Political Science (Vilnius University) and General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania. Previously, he conducted researches at Columbia University, Harriman Institute in the city of New York, Creighton University and Tbilisi State University. Prior to his academic career, he held various positions in the EU monitoring missions to Georgia and Indonesia, the OSCE missions to Kosovo and FYROM, the Permanent Delegation of Lithuania to NATO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense of Lithuania. His academic interests are closely related to the security and conflicts in the post-soviet space in general and Caucasus in particular.
Marius LAURINAVIČIUS, Senior Expert at the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis; Security Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute. Previously he worked as Resident Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA); Senior analyst at the Vilnius-based Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC). Laurinavicius holds a Master’s degree from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University. The foremost areas of his interest include Russian domestic and foreign policy, information wars, security in the Baltic region.
Zuzana NOVAKOVA, Visiting Researcher at Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. She is a junior researcher at International Institute of Social Studies in the Hague and works for the European Political Science Review journal published by Cambridge University Press. She was a Program Executive at the European Policy Centre (EPC) in Brussels and worked with the Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture in Bratislava. She remains a FutureLab Europe fellow in a programme convened by EPC. Her research focuses on policy responses to transitions in the “European neighbourhood”, EU external relations and Eastern partnership.
Samuel GODA, Project Manager and Researcher at the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA); Vice-Dean at the Faculty of international relations of the University of Economics in Bratislava; OSCE Special Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office on Youth and Security. Dr. Goda focuses on the role and perspectives of the OSCE in building peace and reconciliation, he conducted research and study in the U.S., Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Moldova. His research interests include Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security issues; developments in CEE region; OSCE, NATO, EU CFSP and CSDP related issues; EU EaP; protracted conflicts and IR theories.
Armen GRIGORYAN, Visiting Scholar at the Central European University Department of Political Science; policy adviser for some Armenian NGOs; analyses Caucasus issues for the Eurasia Daily Monitor and the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst; evaluates investment-related political risks for IHS Global Limited. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science (Central European University, 2006), did an internship at the European Parliament (2007), received research grants from the National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic (2009 and 2013), was an Open Society Institute Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative visiting fellow (2010-2011), International Visegrad Fund research fellow (2011), peer reviewer for Global Integrity (2011), Think Visegrad research fellow (2013). His research interests include post-communist transition, EU relations with the EaP countries, transatlantic relations, energy security and conflict transformation.
Olena KHYLKO, Associate Professor at the Institute of International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She holds PhD in Political Science (2005) and Master degree in International Relations (2001), is the co-author of five books, including “Ukraine in the European security space” (2012), author of dozens of academic articles, analytical papers and policy briefs in the fields of international relations, foreign and security policy.
Alexandru POSTICA, Researcher at the Institute of History, State and Law of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova; Executive Director and Director of Human Rights Program at the NGO “Promo-LEX”. Holds Master’s degree in Law; author of a number of scientific papers and reports in the fields of human rights, public access to information, political repression, electoral legislation, fight against corruption. He took part in numerous conferences, seminars and trainings on human rights and public access to information in Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine. He worked as an independent observer at the parliamentary (in 2005 and 2009) and local (in 2003 and 2007) elections in Moldova and as an international observer at the presidential elections in Ukraine (in 2004, 2005 and 2010).
Denys KOLESNYK, Policy Analyst based in Paris, France. His field of expertise covers defence and security issues in Central and Eastern Europe as well as France. He holds M.A. in International Relations from the Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. His articles have been published in “European Security & Defence,” “Middle East Eye,” “Evropeyska Pravda,” as well as Gagra Institute think-tank.
Daniel SZELIGOWSKI, Research Fellow on Ukraine and Eastern Europe, Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM); economist and political scientist. His main research interests include EU foreign policy, European Neighbourhood Policy, Eastern Partnership, European Union-Ukraine/Belarus/Russia relations and Polish foreign policy. Club of Gdansk – Polish-Russian Young Leaders Meeting Point member.
Vera AXYONOVA, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher / Assistant Professor at Justus Liebig University Giessen and Visiting Lecturer at Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Germany. She was previously Hurford Next Generation Fellow with the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Associate Researcher with Europe-Central Asia Monitoring program at FRIDE, a European think tank based in Madrid. Axyonova completed her PhD in Political Science at Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences and holds an MA in Intercultural Communication and European Studies and a Diploma in International Relations. Her research centers on security in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, external democratization and human rights promotion, and civil society development in the post-Soviet space.
Kornely KAKACHIA, Founder and Executive Director of the Georgian Institute of Politics in Tbilisi. A Professor at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Dr. Kakachia has held visiting appointments at John. F. Kennedy School of government, Harvard University and the Harriman Institute at Columbia University in New York. He earned PhD in Political Science at Tbilisi State University. A member of International Studies Association and the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia).
Andrei POROTNIKOV, Head of the Belarus Security Blog network think-tank, established by him in January 2011 as the only non-governmental institutions in Belarus, which analyzes the issues of national security and political regime stability. Research interest includes the Belarusian-Russian relations in the field of defense and security; the security services and the military industrial complex of Belarus; analyzing the stability of Alexander Lukashenko’s political regime; the situation in the field of national defense; and law enforcement activities in Belarus.
Marek LENČ, PhD, Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations, Department of IR and Diplomacy at the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. During doctoral studies on German foreign policy he completed research stays at the universities and institutes in Jena and Berlin (Germany). Conducted post-doctoral research at Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine) and was awarded 2015 research visiting fellowships at University of Vienna (Austria). He is co-author of the first Slovakian comprehensive analysis of post-unification German foreign policy; actively contributes to well-known international journals and leading Slovak newspapers Denník N. His main teaching and research interests include German foreign policy, Eastern partnership and Slovak political and economic transformation experience.
Rusif HUSEYNOV, Baku-based independent Researcher. He holds a Bachelor degree of international relations from Baku State University and was recently admitted to SAIS, Johns Hopkins University. He is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ThePoliticon online political journal. His main interest is peace and conflict studies, while his focus area covers mainly Eastern Europe, Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia.
Giorgi KANASHVILI, Executive Director at Tbilisi based think-tank Caucasian House. He holds Master degree in International Relations and continues his PHD studies at Ilia State University (Tbilisi). Giorgi is actively involved in Georgian-Abkhazian, Georgian-Ossetian and Georgian-Russian dialogue formats on the expert level. Spheres of academic interest: conflicts in Caucasus, North Caucasus, Russia’s foreign policy, Russian soft power, broader post-soviet space.
Raimonds RUBLOVSKIS, Researcher at Riga Stradins University; Retired Colonel, former Commander of the Military Police of Latvian Armed Forces (1997), Commander of the Parliament and State President Security Service (1997-2003), National Military Representative of Latvia at NATO SHAPE, Mons, Belgium (2003-2007), and Chief of Strategic Planning Department (J-5) at the Joint Headquarters of Latvian Armed Forces (2007-2010). He holds a Master’s degree in History (University of Latvia, 1994) and Master’s degree in Military studies (U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, VA, 2001). He was a key person responsible for cooperation between Latvian Armed Forces and NATO ACT (2007-2010).
Pavel USOV, Director of the Center for Political Analysis and Prognosis; holds PhD in political science. Till 2005 worked as Lecturer at the Mogilev State A. Kuleshov University; took active part in political life of Belarus. From 2006 resides in Poland, where he prepared and defended the PhD thesis. Author of over 500 publications, including the scientific articles, political essays and interviews on contemporary politics and geopolitics of the Eastern European countries. His book “Establishing and functioning of the neo-authoritarian regime in Belarus” was published in 2014.