February 4, 2018

Board & Committees

The CESS Board governs the work and the mission of CESS, guided by the Society’s articles and bylaws. Board members 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 members support at least one of the CESS committees and may also serve as the chair one of those committees. On an informal basis, board members 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, three officers are non-voting members of the Board and are appointed by Board Members: the Treasurer, the Administrative Coordinator (a paid, part-time position), and the Finance & Social Media Assistant (a paid, part-time position).


Executive Committee


Dr. Amanda Wooden is the David and Patricia Ekedahl Professor of Environmental Studies at Bucknell University, where her most recent work has centered on public opinion, nationalism, extractive industries, and environmental protests in Kyrgyzstan.


Dr. Ali İğmen is an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Oral History Program at California State University Long Beach. His research interests include: Central Asia, Eurasia, Russia, the Soviet Union, Turkey, the Middle East, China, world theater, and oral history.


Dr. Douglas Northrop is a Professor in the History and Near Eastern Studies departments at the University of Michigan. His fields of study include: Central Asia and the Middle East, environmental history, big history, gender studies, and empire/colonial studies.


view past CESS presidents


Board Members

Leila Almazova (2015-2018) // Kazan Federal University, Russian Federation
Timothy Blauvelt (2017-2018) // American Councils for International Education/Ilia State University, Georgia
Eva-Marie Dubuisson (2017-2020) // Boğaziçi University, Turkey
Aksana Ismailbekova (2016-2019) // Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany
Diana Kudaibergenova (2017-2020) // Lund University, Sweden/University of Cambridge, UK
Jennifer Murtazashvili (2016-2019) // University of Pittsburgh, USA

Ex-officio Board Members (non-voting)

Rebecca Dulemba, Finance & Social Media Assistant (2017-)
David Pearce, Treasurer (2016-2018)
Emma Sabzalieva, Administrative Coordinator (2016-)

view past CESS Board Members and Officers


CESS Committees

If you are a CESS member interested in serving on a committee or forming a new one, send us an email.

Awards Committee

The Awards Committee recognizes important contributions and contributors to Central Eurasian studies globally by bestowing the awards listed below. It also awards the status of CESS Honorary Member.

Douglas Northrop, Chair

Best Graduate Student Paper Award (Annual Conference)
2018 sub-committee: Daniel Schafer (Chair), Michele Commercio, and Eva-Marie Dubuisson
Book Award (History and Humanities)
2018 sub-committee: Wendell Schwab (Chair), Sarah Cameron, Barbara Junisbai, and Joo-Yup Lee
Book Award (Social Sciences)
2018 sub-committee: Wendell Schwab (Chair), Benjamin Gatling, Ali İğmen, and Noor O’Neill Borbieva
Lifetime Service to the Field Award
2018 sub-committee: Ali İğmen (Chair), Elmira Kuchumkulova, Scott Levi, and Cynthia Werner
Public Outreach Award (awarded every other year)
2017 sub-committee: Amanda Wooden (Chair), Jeanne Féaux de la Croix, and Regine Spector.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee manages the CESS Blog, social media, and other communications efforts. This committee is supported by the Finance & Social Media Assistant.

Amanda Wooden, Chair // Current members: David Levy, Eva-Marie Dubuisson, Aksana Ismailbekova

Conference Committee for 2018

The Conference Committee plans and implements the Annual Conference and Regional Conference, including: overseeing the call for proposals, finding peer reviewers and selecting papers, communicating with delegates, planning the conference program, and liaising with the conference’s host institution. This committee is supported by the Administrative Coordinator and the conference’s host institution staff.

Timothy Blauvelt, Chair // Current members: Marianne Kamp, Diana Kudaibergenova, Marlene Laruelle, Jennifer Murtazashvili, and Zsuzsánna Magdó

Elections Committee for 2018

The Elections Committee is composed of the CESS Board’s Executive Committee. It oversees the policies and procedures for the annual Board Elections and aims to actively encourage a diverse range of qualified candidates to stand for election.

Amanda Wooden, Chair // Current members: Ali İğmen and Douglas Northrup

Institutional Linkages Committee

The Institutional Linkages Committee promotes new and sustained partnerships between CESS and relevant academic or professional organizations focusing on Central Eurasia or its constituent parts.

Jennifer Murtazashvili, Chair // Current members: Stefan Kamola, Gulnara Mendikulova, Annika Schmeding

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee develops and pursues innovative ways to attract new members and meet the interests and needs of our current members, with the aim of supporting strong communities of scholarship in all the regions and disciplines CESS encompasses.

Chair to be determined // Current members: Leila Almazova, Aida Alymbayeva, Diana Kudaibergenova, John Schoeberlein, and Cynthia Werner

Regional Outreach Committee

The Regional Outreach Committee is a nascent committee whose efforts will be delineated as 2018 progresses.

Leila Almazova and Aksana Ismailbekova, Co-Chairs // Current members: Stefan Kamola

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