Central Asia and the Caucasus: From Independence to Interdependence

Wednesday 27 April 2016 / 17:00 - 19:00 / Reception at 5 p.m., followed by the main program at 5:30

Washington, DC Rome Building Auditorium, SAIS - Johns Hopkins University. 1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW, 20036 Washington, DC. Click here for a map

The fall of the USSR enabled peoples of Central Asia and the Caucasus (Greater Central Asia) to claim full independence and sovereignty. While bringing many obvious benefits, the strengthening of new sovereignties has also  brought self-isolation and rivalry among peoples who had actively interacted for hundreds of years before the Russian conquest. The resulting isolationism has created needless tensions in the region, deepened poverty, and fostered  religious radicalization. Meanwhile, geographic proximity, interdependent infrastructure, and the presence of Russian media have maintained ties with Russia and rendered them appealing to many.


Is it time to  shift from the radical independence to intra-regional dialogue and economic integration within the region? And for the region as a whole to capitalize on its strategic location, cultural diversity, and human capital?

Twelve participants of the Rumsfeld Fellowship Program, representing nine countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, will share their answers to these questions.


  •   Mr. Ozodkhon Davlatshoev (Tajikistan)
  •   Mr. Nemuun Gal (Mongolia)
  •   Mr. Emil Gasimli (Azerbaijan)
  •   Mr. Sulkhan Glonti (Georgia)
  •   Ms. Raykhona Khashimova (Uzbekistan)
  •   Ms. Eliza Nishanbaeva (Kyrgyzstan)
  •   Mr. Mahmood Noorzai (Afghanistan)
  •   Mr. Rakhim Oshakbayev (Kazakhstan)
  •   Ms. Lilit Petrosyan (Armenia)
  •   Mr. Ruslan Ramanov (Uzbekistan)
  •   Mr. Narantuguldur Saijrakh (Mongolia)
  •   Mr. Barry Salaam (Afghanistan)

Moderator:  S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute