Speakers’ Bios: Modern Ukrainian State at 25

Alexander J. Motyl

Alexander J. Motyl is professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark. He served as associate director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University from 1992 to 1998. A specialist on Ukraine, Russia, and the USSR, and on nationalism, revolutions, empires, and transition state theory, Dr. Motyl is the author of Pidsumky imperii; Puti imperii; Imperial Ends: The Decay, Collapse, and Revival of Empires; Revolutions, Nations, Empires: Conceptual Limits and Theoretical Possibilities; Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after Totalitarianism; Sovietology, Rationality, Nationality: Coming to Grips with Nationalism in the USSR; Will the Non‑Russians Rebel? State, Ethnicity, and Stability in the USSR; and the editor of more than ten volumes, including The Encyclopedia of Nationalism.

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 (including the European and Asian editions), the Baltimore Sun and the US News & World Report, among other prominent newspapers and magazines.

Thomas Joseph ‘Tom’ Ridge

Tom Ridge served as the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security from 2001 to 2003, and as the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005; during his tenure as HS Secretary, he worked with his new minted employees, 180,000 culled from 22 agencies, to strengthen borders, provide for intelligence analysis and infrastructure protection, improve the use of science and technology to counter weapons of mass destruction, and to create a comprehensive response and recovery division. Prior to his Homeland Security appointments, Secretary Ridge was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995 and the 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001.

Yuri Shapoval

Yuri Shapoval is presently the Chief Research Associate at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine’s Institute of Political and Ethno-national Studies. Dr Shapoval is the author of over 500 published studies, amongst them several on the Holodomor,and a good number printed worldwide. He was co-editor, co-author of the foreword and author of a key article in the acclaimed 2001 work: Commanders of the Holodomor. He and Polish colleagues co-edited and co-authored two volumes dealing with documents in the intelligence archives of Poland and the USSR for the 1930s that focused on the Great Famine of 1933 in a larger work put out in Poland and by the Institute for National Remembrance: Holodomor. The Great Famine in Ukraine 1932-1933.

Yuri Sergeyev

Yuri Sergeyev is currently Senior Fellow at Yale University’s MacMillian Center. Prior to his present appiointment, he served nearly three decades as a Ukrainian diplomat. Among his most prominent postings, Dr. Sergeyev served as Ukraine ‘s envoy to Greece and head of the Directorate General for Foreign Policy of the Administration of the President of Ukraine (1997-2003), envoy to France and, concurrently, the country’s permanent representative to UNESCO (2003-2007) and Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations (2007-2015). As Ukraine’s voice in the UN, he led the country’s diplomatic efforts to highlight Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s continuing “Hybrid War” against Ukraine in UA’s industrial heartland—the Donbas region.

James Sherr

James Sherr is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and former head, between 2008 and 2011, of the Russia and Eurasia programme. He was a member of the Social Studies Faculty of Oxford University from 1993 to 2012, a fellow of the Conflict Studies Research Centre of the UK Ministry of Defence from 1995 to 2008 and Director of Studies of the Royal United Services Institute (1983-85) He is also a Visiting Fellow of the Razumkov Centre, Kyiv, a Senior Associate Fellow of the Institute of Statecraft and in June 2016, a GMF Bosch Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy, Washington. Prof. Sherr’s latest book is Hard Diplomacy and Soft Coercion: Russia’s Influence Abroad (Chatham House, 2013). Other publications include The New East-West Discord: Russian Objectives, Western Interests (Clingendael, December 2015) ‘Ukraine: A War of Narratives and Arms’ (in The Russia Challenge, Chatham House, June 2015), The Mortgaging of Ukraine’s Independence (Chatham House 2010) and Russia and the West: A Reassessment (UK Defence Academy 2008).

Oleksandr Sushko

Oleksandr Sushko is Research Director of the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kyiv (Ukraine) since 2006. Previously he was Director of the Center for Peace, Conversion and Foreign Policy of Ukraine. Since January 2011, he has served as Chairman of the Board of the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), Ukraine (Open Society Network). He is currently chair of the Secretariat of the Strategic Advisory Groups, an IRF-run project aimed at expert and advocacy support for reforms in Ukraine. Oleksandr Sushko was a first Co-Chair of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform (2015-2016) – the bilateral insitution established within the frames of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement to facilitate civil society cooperation and policy impact. Areas of expertise: Ukraine, EU, NATO, Security.

Frank E. Sysyn

Frank E. Sysyn is Director of the Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, and editor in chief of the Hrushevsky Translation Project, the English translation of the multi-volume History of Ukraine-Rus’. He is a member of the executive committee of the newly-established Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) at CIUS. A specialist in Ukrainian and Polish history, Dr. Sysyn is the author of Between Poland and the Ukraine: The Dilemma of Adam Kysil, 1600-1653 (1985), Mykhailo Hrushevsky: Historian and National Awakener (2001), and studies on the Khmelnytsky Uprising, Ukrainian historiography, early modern Ukrainian political culture, and the Holodomor. He is also co-author, with Serhii Plokhii, of Religion and Nation in Modern Ukraine (2003).

Borys Tarasyuk

Borys Tarasyuk is currently Deputy Chair of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada’s Committee. During the last two decades, he has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine twice, first during the Kuchma presidency (1998-2000) and again during the Yushchenko presidency (2005-2007). A number of pundits have rated Amb. Tarasyuk as the Ukraine’s leading advocate of a Euro-Atlantic future for the country; he founded the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation (IEAC), a political action committee specifically established to campaign for NATO and European Union memberships for Ukraine.

Mark Von Hagen

Mark Von Hagen was recently appointed interim director of the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Arizona State University, where he also continues as founding Director of the Office for Veteran and Military Academic Affairs and professor of history and global studies. He also serves as dean of the philosophy faculty at the Ukrainian Free University in Munich, speaker for the international advisory board to the German-Ukrainian Historians’ Commission. He writes and teaches about the Ukrainian revolution of 1917, the Russian empire and Soviet Union, war and revolution, comparative empires and colonialisms. He has authored two monographs, one on the Red Army in the 1920s and one on occupation regimes in Galicia and Russian Ukraine during World War I and co-edited several volumes, including: the Ukrainian-Russian Encounter, Russian Empire, After Empire, and Kazan, Moscow, Petersburg. He taught for 24 years at Columbia University, where he chaired the history department and directed the Harriman Institute. He serves on an advisory board at Human Rights Watch, is past president of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies and the International Association of Ukrainianists.

Volodymyr Vyatrovych

Volodymyr Vyatrovych is currently the Director of the Institute of National Memory of Ukraine. He earlier served as the Director of the Center to Research the Liberation Movement of Ukraine (2002-2007), Director of Archives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) (2008-2010) and Director of the Institute of History of Ukrainian Statehood in the XXth Century at the National University “Kyiv Mohyla Academy” (2013-2014). In 2011-2012, Dr. Vyatrovych was a Mykola Lebed Research Fellow at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University; his recently published study of Volyn during World War II is already considered a ‘breakthrough piece of scholarship’.

Volodymyr Yelchenko

Volodymyr Yelchenko has served as Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations since December 9, 2015. Immediately prior to his present posting, he was Ambassador of Ukraine to Russia; he held the post from July 2010 until he was recalled for consultations in March 2014, immediately after the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. Ambassador Yelchenko is one of the true veterans of Ukrainian diplomacy, having started in a career in foreign service in 1981.

Marianna Zajac

Marianna Zajac is President of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, Inc. (an educational, charitable, cultural not for profit organization uniting women of Ukrainian descent since 1925); First Vice President of The Ukrainian Museum in New York City (founded by The UNWLA in 1976); Board Member of the World Congress of Ukrainians; Honorary Member of the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, a member organization of the National Council of Women; participant in the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women conferences; presenter at the 2011 (20th) Conference of the World Information Transfer (Health & the Enviroment); member of the U.S. Holodomor Committee.

Volodymyr Zaryckyj

Volodymyr Zaryckyj is Executive Director of the Center for US-Ukrainian Relations. The Center provides “informational platforms” or venues for senior-level representatives of the political, economic, security, diplomatic and cultural/academic establishments of the United States and Ukraine to exchange views on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, and to showcase what has been referred to as a “burgeoning relationship of notable geopolitical import” between the two nations. Dr. Zaryckyj completed his undergraduate and graduate work at Columbia University; he taught political science at NYU for nearly three decades before moving on in recent years to do postdoctoral research work on Eastern Europe.