Nargis Kassenova is a senior fellow and director of the Program on Central Asia at the Davis Center. Before joining the Davis Center, Nargis was an Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and Regional Studies of KIMEP University (Almaty, Kazakhstan). Nargis is the former founder and director of the KIMEP Central Asian Studies Center (CASC) and the China and Central Asia Studies Center (CCASC). Her research focuses on Central Asian politics and security, Eurasian geopolitics, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, governance in Central Asia, and the history of state-making in Central Asia.
Nargis is a member of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division, the UN High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs, the Central Eurasian Studies Society board, and the Steering Committee of the OSCE Network of Thinktanks and Academic Institutions. She is on the editorial boards of Central Asian Survey, Central Asian Affairs, and REGION: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Nargis holds a Ph.D. in international cooperation studies from the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University (Japan).
Susan Coughtrie is the Director of the Foreign Policy Centre, an independent, non-partisan international affairs think tank based in the United Kingdom. Previously, she served as Deputy Director and Project Director at FPC. Susan started collaborating with FPC as a Research Fellow in 2019 before joining the staff team in July 2020 as Project Director for the Unsafe for Scrutiny project. The project explored the risks and threats facing journalists, uncovering financial crime and corruption. The findings of this research led Susan to co-found the UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition in January 2021, for which she continues to co-chair.
Susan has undertaken a variety of consultancy work in the media sphere, having previously worked at the international free expression organisation ARTICLE 19 from 2012-2018, as an advisor to the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) from 2019-2022, and served as a board member for the Scottish investigative media outlet The Ferret from 2020-22. Susan is also a Trustee for committee for the Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland (CFoIS).
Samuel Doveri Vesterbye
Samuel Doveri Vesterbye is the Managing Director at the European Neighbourhood Council (ENC), a Brussels-based independent think tank. ENC conducts research and implements projects to strengthen a common European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), Enlargement Policy and contribute to promoting a Global Strategy for the European Union’s (EU) Foreign and Security Policy.
Samuel is an expert on EU-Turkey relations, EU-Central-Asia relations, and EU neighbourhood and foreign policy, including supply-chain geo-economics, due diligence, trade, energy security information theory and media consumption. He has written numerous policy briefs, data-driven analyses, and book chapters, including Palgrave Macmillan’s Managing Security Threats along the EU’s Eastern Flank. Doveri Vesterbye regularly advises the European Parliament, European External Action Service, and EU Member States on foreign policy data collection and new methodologies.