Board of Directors

The CESS Board governs the work and the mission of CESS, guided by the Society’s articles and bylaws. Board Directors serve as volunteers and are actively involved in developing and managing CESS’ strategy and activities. They engage in CESS business through active participation in board meetings held digitally each month and in-person at each Annual Conference.

Board Directors support at least one of the CESS committees and may also serve as the chair one of those committees. On an informal basis, Board Directors also communicate with others about CESS, encourage new membership, and liaise with other organizations and institutions.

The CESS Board consists of nine voting members elected by the CESS membership. These include: the President, President-Elect, Past-President (who constitute the Executive Committee), and six Board Members who are elected to three-year terms.

The President-Elect is a three-year role which cycles through the positions of: President Elect (year 1), President (year 2) and Past President (year 3). At any one time, each role is filled and these 3 persons make up the Society’s Executive Committee. Each year, a President-Elect and two new Board Members are elected, as the Past-President and two Board Members’ terms end. Board members take up their positions at the Annual Conference that is held after the elections.

Learn more about CESS elections or standing for election

Currently, two officers are non-voting members of the Board and are appointed by Board Members: the Treasurer and the Clerk (fulfilled by the Society Administrator, a paid, part-time position).

Executive Committee

CESS President Dr Jeff Sahadeo is a historian and Professor of Russian and Eurasian History at Carleton University. His research focuses on migration, empire, nationality, borders, and human-nature interactions in Central Asia and the Caucasus. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

CESS President-Elect Ablet Kamalov is a Professor of History at Turan University, Almaty, Kazakhstan. His research interests include the history, historiography, and culture of the Turkic peoples of Chinese Central Asia, primarily the Uyghurs, and Diaspora studies. He earned his Ph.D. from the St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies and Habilitation degree (Dr.Sc.) from the Kazakh Academy of Sciences.

CESS Past President Dr Jennifer Murtazashvili is Associate Professor of International Affairs and Founding Director of the Center for Governance and Markets at the University of Pittsburgh. Drawing from diverse research methods including field experiments, public opinion surveys, and ethnographic fieldwork, Murtazashvili focuses her work on Central and South Asia, and the former Soviet Union.

View a list of all past CESS presidents

Board Members

Emil Nasritdinov (2022-2025) // American University of Central Asia Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
Akram Umarov (2022-2025) // University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Christopher P. Atwood (2020-2023) // University of Pennsylvania, USA
Noor Borbieva (2020-2023) // Purdue University Fort Wayne, USA
Barbara Junisbai  (2021-2024) // Pitzer College, USA
Nargis Kassenova (2021-2024) // Harvard University, USA

Ex-officio Board Members (non-voting)

Katia Clod-Svensson, Society Administrator (2022-)
Inge Snip, Director of Communications (2022-) media at centraleurasia dot org

Markian Dobczansky, Clerk and Society Administrator (2021-22)
Tima Moldogazíev, Treasurer (2021-) // Pennsylvania State University and American University of Central Asia Foundation, USA