Speakers’ Bios: US-Ukraine Working Group Yearly Summit II

Anders Åslund

Anders Aslund is presently a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics. Dr. Aslund has long engaged in monitoring the transformation of formerly socialist economies to market-based economies. While the central areas of his studies are Russia and Ukraine, he also focuses on the broader implications of economic transition. Prior to his tenure at the Institute, Dr. Åslund was Director of the Russian and Eurasian Affairs Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Bihun

Andrew Bihun, presently President of The Washington Group (TWG), has enjoyed an extensive career in international marketing, particularly in analyzing global marketing opportunities and stimulating the growth of trade from his position in public sector, i.e. the U.S. Department of Commerce. In his long-term assignments in the Washington headquarters of the U.S. Commercial Service, Mr. Bihun developed and headed various foreign market research programs. The highlight of Mr. Bihun’s international career was a posting as Commercial Counselor and head of the Foreign Commercial Service of the US Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine from 1995 to 1999.

Robert Bensh

Robert Bensh is Managing Director at Pelicourt Ltd. Concurrently, he is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Condor Exploration, a private oil and gas company operating in Colombia since July of 2007. In addition to Condor Exploration, Mr. Bensh was the Executive Chairman of Northcote Energy Ltd. and its predecessor from February 2008 to January 2011. Prior to that he served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cardinal Resources and its predecessor, Carpatsky Petroleum Inc. He joined Carpatsky in 2001 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Ilan Berman

Ilan Berman is Vice President for Policy at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC. An expert on international terrorism and regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Russian Federation, Mr. Berman’s writings have appeared in such publications as the WSJ Europe, Middle East Quarterly, the Washington Times, the Jerusalem Post and the Journal of International Security Affairs and Strategic Review.

Steven Blank

Steven Blank is currently Senior Fellow on Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council; prior to his present position, Dr. Blank spent 24 years, 1989-2013, as a Professor of National Security Studies at the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA. His expertise covers the entire Russian and post-Soviet region and he has also written extensively on defense strategy, arms control, information warfare, energy issues, US foreign and defense policy, European, and Asian security.

Yuri Boyko

Yuriy Boyko has held various senior Energy posts in the Ukrainian government since 2002; he has served as Chair of Naftogaz Ukraina, as Minister of Fuel and Energy of Ukraine and as UA Minister of Energy and the Coal Industry. In December 2012, Min. Boyko was appointed a Vice Prime Minister in the sphere of ecology, natural resources, energy, coal industry and industrial policy. In May 2013, the space sector was added to his functions. His reputation for having inner knowledge of the UA energy sector precedes him.

Janusz Bugajski

Janusz Bugajski is a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC, and host of “Bugajski Hour” and “Bugajski Time” television shows broadcast in the Balkans. Bugajski has authored 19 books on Europe, Russia, and trans-Atlantic relations and is a columnist for several media outlets. His recent books include Conflict Zones: North Caucasus and Western Balkans Compared (2014), Return of the Balkans: Challenges to European Integration and U.S. Disengagement (2013), Georgian Lessons: Conflicting Russian and Western Interests in the Wider Europe (2010), Dismantling the West: Russia’s Atlantic Agenda (2009),
America’s New European Allies (2009)

Ariel Cohen

Ariel Cohen is a well-known international expert on Ukrainian, Russian, Eurasian, European and Middle Eastern foreign, security and economic affairs; U.S. and global energy security; terrorism; organized crime and other political risk factors. Dr. Cohen is Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security at the Davis International Studies Institute at the Heritage Foundation, working closely with Congressmen and Congressional staff members and cabinet-level foreign decision makers. He has over 20 years experience in research project management, government relations/political public relations, journalistic writing, and broadcasting.

Anders Corr

Anders Corr is the Principal of Corr Analytics Inc. and the Senior Editor of the Journal of Political Risk; he currently researches Russia and Ukraine for the US Department of Defense. Dr. Corr led the US Army Social Science Research and Analysis group in Afghanistan and conducted quantitative predictive analysis of insurgent attacks and public opinion. Dr. Corr likewise coordinated analysis at US Pacific Command (USPACOM) and US Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) on catastrophic risks for US national security throughout Asia.

Matthew Czekaj

Matthew Czekaj is a Program Associate for Europe and Eurasia at The Jamestown Foundation and also serves as the Managing Editor of Jamestown’s daily publication, the Eurasia Daily Monitor. Prior to joining Jamestown, Mr. Czekaj was a Research Associate at the Atlantic Council, where he worked on issues of European Enlargement. Before that, he was a Research Assistant at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) Energy Security Program.

William H. Courtney

William H. Courtney is Director of Strategic Planning at the Computer Sciences Corporation. From 1998 to 2000, he served as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. In 1997-98, Dr. Courtney was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of the NSC staff for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. Previously, he served as Ambassador to Georgia and Kazakhstan.

Keith Crane

Keith Crane is currently Senior Economist at the RAND Corporation. Dr. Crane is one of America’s most prolific authors on the subject of “nation building”, concentrating particularly on issues pertaining to social and economic spheres of activity.

Nadia Diuk

Nadia Diuk currently serves as Vice President, Programs for Europe and Eurasia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy, a private nonprofit organization funded by the US Congress to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. Dr. Diuk has supervised NED programs since 1987.

Marta Farion

Marta Farion, Esq. is the President of the Kyiv Mohyla Foundation, the institution which provides a major fount of underwriting for the most venerable entity of higher learning in Ukraine, the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, using the resources of the global Ukrainian Hromada.

Katie Fox

Katie Fox is Deputy Regional Director for Eurasia at NDI in Washington. Before joining the Institute, Ms. Fox served as the legislative director at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, developing and implementing legislative strategies. Earlier, she served as a legal counsel with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, as a legislative assistant in the office of Representative Ed Feighan, and as an assistant to the chief of staff for Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the Euro College of the University of Tartu in Estonia. While there, he launched the “Window on Eurasia” series. Prior to joining the faculty there in 2004, he served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He writes frequently on ethnic and religious issues and has edited five volumes on ethnicity and religion in the former Soviet space.

John Herbst

John Herbst is former United States Ambassador to Ukraine and presently Director for Eurasia at the Atlantic Council of the United States; immediately prior to the current posting, he served as Director of the National Defense University Center for Complex Operations. Amb. Herbst has worked as a political counselor at the US embassies in Tel Aviv, Israel, Moscow, Russia, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as the Director of Regional Affairs in the Near East Bureau of the US State Department, as Director of the Office of Independent States and Commonwealth Affairs and as Principal Deputy to the Ambassador-at-large for the Newly Independent States. He was appointed Ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2000 before assuming the post of US envoy to Ukraine in 2003.

Glen Howard

Glen Howard serves as the President of The Jamestown Foundation. Mr. Howard is fluent in Russian and proficient in Azerbaijani and Arabic, and is a regional expert on the Caucasus and Central Asia. He was formerly an Analyst at the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) Strategic Assessment Center. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, and Jane’s Defense Weekly. Mr. Howard has served as a consultant to private sector and governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Intelligence Council and major oil companies operating in Central Asia and the Middle East.

Idil Izmirli

Idil Izmirli is a Drucie French Cumbie Post Doctoral Fellow at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University; concurrently, she serves as an Expert/Consultant on FDPs (Formerly Deported Peoples) in Crimea, Ukraine for the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities).

David Kramer

David J. Kramer is president of Freedom House, which he joined in October 2010. Prior to joining Freedom House, Kramer was a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He was concurrently an Adjunct Professor at the Elliott School for International Affairs at The George Washington University. Before joining GMF, Kramer served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from March 2008 to January 2009. He also was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus affairs as well as regional non-proliferation issues. Previously, he served as a Professional Staff Member in the Secretary of State’s Office of Policy Planning

Ostap Kryvdyk

Ostap Kyyvdyk currently serves as Advisor to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine; his area of responsibility within the UA NSDC resides in the realm of information/international relations.

Serhiy Kvit

Serhiy Kvit currently serves as Minister of Education of Ukraine. Dr. Kvit comes to the post eminently qualified, having served as both faculty member and President of Ukraine’s oldest and most prestigious institution of higher learning, the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

Robert McFarlane

Robert ‘Bud’ McFarlane co-founded and serves as CEO of McFarlane Associates Inc., an international consulting company; during the Reagan Administration, he served as National Security Advisor to the President from 2003-2005. Lt. Col. (ret.) McFarlane is president of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and is on the Board of Advisors of the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy. In July 2011, McFarlane, in cooperation with former CIA director Jim Woolsey, co-founded the United States Energy Security Council.

William Miller

William Miller is presently a Senior Scholar at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center. Earlier, he served as the second US Ambassador to Ukraine. During his tenure, Ambassador Miller was eyewitness to some of the most fundamental transformations of the Ukrainian State, including the ratification of Ukraine’s Constitution.

Olexander Motsyk

Olexander Motsyk is the current Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States of America, a position he has held since June 2010. A career diplomat, Ambassador Motsyk served as the Ukrainian envoy to Poland from May 2005 until June 2010 as well as Ukraine’s chief emissary to the Republic of Turkey from November 1997 to November 2001.

Steven Nix

Steven Nix is Director of the Eurasian Division at the International Republican Institute. From 1995 to 1997, Mr. Nix served as Outside Legal Counsel for the Ukrainian Parliament’s Committee on Legal and Judicial Reform. Upon his return to the U.S., he accepted a position as Senior Democracy Specialist at USAID, where he assisted in the design and implementation of democracy programs in Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States.

John O’Keefe

John O’Keefe is a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister Counselor. Before assuming his current duties as Executive Director of the Open World Leadership Development Program, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of the Director General, Bureau of Human Resources [2004-2006]. Prior to that, Ambassador O’Keefe headed the Office of Career Development and Assignments from July 2003 to April 2004. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from August 2000 to July 2003.

Herman Pirchner

Herman Pirchner, in 1982, became the founding President of the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), a non-profit public policy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Under his leadership, AFPC has hosted the Washington visits of hundreds of foreign officials, ranging from the Prime Minister of Malta to the Prime Minister of Russia; conducted hundreds of briefings for members of Congress and their staffs; and organized dozens of fact-finding missions abroad for current and former senior American officials. AFPC’s publication program includes the sponsorship of numerous articles, monographs and books. In recent years, AFPC authors have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Baltimore Sun, and the New York Post, among other prominent newspapers and magazines.

Serhii Plokhii

Serhii Plokhii is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, where he leads a group of researchers working on the GIS Map Atlas of Holodomor. A leading authority on the region, he has published extensively in English, Ukrainian and Russian. Dr. Plokhii is the author of several influential monographs, including most recently Yalta: The Price of Peace (Viking Press, 2010, Penguin 2011) and The Cossack Myth: History and Nationhood in the Age of Empires (Cambridge University Press, 2012). In 2013, Dr. Plokhii was named Walter Channing Cabot Fellow at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University for scholarly eminence in the field of history.

Joanna Rohozinska

Joanna Rohozinska is Senior Program Officer for Europe and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy. She has worked in the area of civil-society development for more than 12 years throughout Central and Eastern Europe; she has written extensively on matters related to her area of expertise.

Michael Sawkiw

Michael Sawkiw is a former President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA). He was first elected to the post in October 2000 in Chicago and subsequently re-elected in September 2004 in Philadelphia. Since 1996, he has served as Director of the Ukrainian National Information Service – and presently holds this position again. His key achievements in Washington have included the formation of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus in 1997; advocating the graduation of Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik amendment; passage by US Congress of a bill to authorize the construction of a monument to the victims of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933 and preparatory work with various election observers teams that the UCCA has sent to UA during the last two decades

Keith Smith

Keith Smith is currently Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis; immediately prior to that appointment, he was Senior Advisor in the Europe Division at the Center for Strategic and International Affairs (CSIS). In 2000, Ambassador Smith retired from the State Department’s Foreign Service after serving from 1997 to 2000 as the American Ambassador in Lithuania. In Europe, he was also posted to Hungary (twice), Norway and Estonia.

William B. Taylor, Jr.

William B. Taylor, Jr. is Vice President for the Middle East and Africa at the United States Institute of Peace. From 2011 to 2013, Ambassador Taylor was the Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions in the State Department, appointed by the Secretary of State to ensure that U.S. support for the countries of the Arab revolutions was effective; his task was to coordinate assistance and support to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria. He served as the U.S. envoy to Ukraine, the sixth in a line of distinguished US diplomats, from 2006 to 2009.