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.
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).
CESS President, 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.
President-Elect, Dr. Marlene Laruelle, is a Research Professor of International Affairs, Director of the Central Asia Program and Associate Director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University. She works on Russia and Central Asia and explores post-Soviet political, social and cultural changes through the prism of nationhood and nationalism.
Past President, 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.
Eva-Marie Dubuisson (2017-2020) // Boğaziçi University, Turkey
Aksana Ismailbekova (2016-2019) // Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany
Jeanne Féaux de la Croix (2018-2021) // Uni Tübingen, Germany
Diana Kudaibergenova (2017-2020) // Lund University, Sweden/University of Cambridge, UK
Martha Merrill (2018-2021) // Kent State, USA
Jennifer Murtazashvili (2016-2019) // University of Pittsburgh, USA
Ex-officio Board Members (non-voting)
Rebecca Dulemba, Finance & Social Media Assistant (2017-)
David Pearce, Treasurer (2016-2019)
Emma Sabzalieva, Administrative Coordinator (2016-)
CESS Committees (A-Z)
If you are a CESS member interested in serving on a committee or forming a new one, send us an email.
Academic Freedom, Advocacy, and Scholars at Risk (AFASAR) Committee
The Academic Freedom, Advocacy, and Scholars at Risk (AFASAR) Committee was created in May 2018. AFASAR works to study issues of endangered academic freedom among our members, communicate these findings regularly to the membership, and provide support for local scholars at risk in Central Eurasia. It also develops support mechanisms for scholars at risk to attend CESS conferences and report to the membership about their experiences and situations. The committee coordinates with the organization Scholars at Risk to provide formal support to our members. This committee also works to establish institutional measures of ‘critical engagement’ on issues of academic freedom. In coordination with the executive committee, the AFASAR committee will develop a systematic approach for responding to scholars’ situations and other advocacy requests. The purpose of this committee is to define and develop an advocacy policy, not to issue any kind of political statement on behalf of the society.
Co-Chairs: Eva-Marie Dubuisson, Aksana Ismailbekova // Current members: TBC
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
Edward Allworth Lifetime Service to the Profession 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.
Eva-Marie Dubuisson, Chair // Current members: Aksana Ismailbekova, Diana Kudaibergenova, David Levy, Amanda Wooden
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.
Diana Kudaibergenova, Chair // 2018-19 members: Marianne Kamp, Marlene Laruelle
Development & Fundraising Committee
The Development & Fundraising Committee was created in October 2018. It will deal with grant applications and other opportunities for financial growth.
Chair to be confirmed // Members: Ali İğmen, Marlene Laruelle, Scott Levi, David Pearce, Cynthia Werner, Amanda Wooden
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.
Ali İğmen, Chair // 2018-19 members: Marlene Laruelle, Amanda Wooden
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 // Members: Stefan Kamola, Gulnara Mendikulova, Annika Schmeding
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 confirmed // Members: Leila Almazova, Aida Alymbayeva, Diana Kudaibergenova 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