Mari Bastashevski — 2016 World Fellow
Mari is a visual artist, writer, and a researcher. Her installations combine texts, images, and documents to explore how secrecy within systems of state and corporate power contributes to the perpetuation of armed conflicts and conflicts of power between citizens and the authorities. Since 2010, she has been working on “State Business,” an interdisciplinary, investigative work that maps the expansion of the commercial cyber-surveillance industry, the rise of private military contractors in the Horn of Africa, and simultaneous transfers of weapons to opposing sides in regional armed conflicts. Her other ongoing series, “It’s Nothing Personal,” is a collection of PR material produced by global surveillance firms juxtaposed against the testimonies of those directly affected by their technologies. Her 2014 project “Empty With a Whiff of Blood and Fumes,” addresses the nexus of money, power, and organized crime in Ukraine. Between 2007 and 2010, she worked in the Russian North Caucasus on “File-126,” a work about the mass abduction of civilians under the guise of a counterterrorism campaign. Her works have been exhibited at Musée de l’Elysée, HKW Berlin, Art Souterrain, Noorderlicht, the Open Society Foundations, Polaris Gallery, and East Wing; and published by Prix Pictet, Time Magazine, The New York Times, Courrier International, Le Monde, IBTimes, and VICE amongst others. She was finalist of the first edition of the Prix Elysée, held a 2011 residency at the Cite des Arts, and was awarded a Magnum Emergency Grant in 2012. Bastashevski has contributed research for Privacy International, Small Arms Survey, and SIPRI. In 2016 she concluded her latest project: as an artist-in-residence aboard a commercial container ship. She is represented by Galerie Polaris in Paris, France and by the Stead Bureau in the Hague, Netherlands.
Lidia Kolucka-Zuk — 2013 World Fellow
Lidia served as Executive Director for the Warsaw-based Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe. She is a lawyer by training and has worked as a strategic advisor to the Polish Prime Minister on issues of state efficiency, reforms in the judicial and legal sectors and the creation of digital society in Poland. Since July 2014, she has served on the Advisory Council to Google on the Right to be Forgotten. The Council collaborates with government, business, media, academia, the technology sector, data protection organizations, and other organizations to identify and discuss the challenging issues at the intersection of the right to information and the right to privacy. She is also a member of the The Council for Digitization for the Ministry of Administration and Digitization of Poland. As of January 2014, Lidia serves as the Director of the Pelion Healthcare Group, playing a leading role for policy, regulatory strategy, as well as public affairs and corporate responsibility.
Svyatoslav “Slava” Vakarchuk — 2015 World Fellow
Slava Vakarchuk is a social activist and lead vocalist for Okean Elzy, the most successful rock band in Ukraine. As an activist, Slava supported the Orange Revolution and is founder of the non-profit “Lyudi Maybutnyogo” (People of the Future). People of the Future’s programs include: “Knyga Tvoryt’ Lyudynu” (A Book Creates A Man), “Osvita Krainoyu” (The Country’s Education), “3-D Proekt. Dumay, Diy, Dopomogai.” (3-D Project. Think, Act. Help.). Alongside members of his band, he actively supported MTV and the UN International Organization for Migration’s campaign “People Are Not For Sale.” In 2003, Slava became an Honorary Ambassador of Culture in Ukraine. In 2005 he was named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme and became a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Expression and Information. In September 2008, he renounced his seat in the Verkhovna Rada party due to a corrupt political climate. In parliamentary elections in 2007, he appeared as an independent candidate on the Our Ukraine–People’s Self-Defense Bloc’s list. The Ukrainian magazine Korrespondent ranks him as one of the 100 most influential people of Ukraine. Slava holds a degree in theoretical physics and has released eight studio albums with his band.
Alexey Navalny — 2010 World Fellow
Alexey is a lawyer, political and financial activist and politician. In September 2013 he ran in the Moscow mayoral election, challenging a Kremlin-backed incumbent for the seat. He came in second place with 27 percent of the vote but gained international recognition for the populist campaign targeting corruption and promoting democracy. Alexey has spearheaded legal challenges on behalf of minority shareholders in large Russian companies, including Gazprom, Bank VTB, Sberbank, Rosneft, Transneft, and Surgutneftegaz, through the Union of Minority Shareholders. He has successfully forced companies to disclose more information to their shareholders and has sued individual managers at several major corporations for allegedly corrupt practices. Alexey is also co-founder of the Democratic Alternative movement and was vice-chairman of the Moscow branch of the political party YABLOKO. In 2010, he launched RosPil, a public project funded by unprecedented fundraising in Russia. In 2011 he started RosYama, an organization combating fraud in the road construction sector.
Maxim Trudolyubov — 2009 World Fellow
Maxim Trudolyubov, editor-at-large with Vedomosti and a Senior Fellow with the Kennan Institute has been following Russian economy and politics since the late 1990s. Trudolyubov writes The Russia File blog for the Kennan Institute and oversees special publications. He also writes a weekly column in Russian on societal and institutional change in Russia and the former Soviet Union. He has anchored a talk show on the radio station Echo of Moscow, and is regularly invited to comment for various news outlets in Russia and other countries. Previously, Mr. Trudolyubov was editorial page editor and foreign editor for Vedomosti, an editor and correspondent for the newspaper Kapital, and a translator for The Moscow News, an English-language online newspaper.
Mr. Trudolyubov won the Paul Klebnikov Fund’s prize for courageous Russian journalism in 2007 and was a Nieman fellow at Harvard in 2010-11. His recent books include: Me and My Country: A Common Cause. Moscow School of Civic Education, 2011; People Behind the Fence: Private Space, Power and Property in Russia (in Russian). Novoye Izdatelstvo, 2015; Co-author Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine. Columbia University Press, 2015.
Andriy Shevchenko — 2008 World Fellow
Andriy is the Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada. He is a prominent Ukrainian politician, journalist and civil activist. He was a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, winning seats in 2006, 2007, and 2012. He served as the Chairman of the Free Speech Committee and the 1st Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Committee. Andriy is the author of the Law on Access to Public Information. He was an active participant of the Euromaidan Revolution of 2013-14. As a seasoned journalist, he helped to establish the 5th Channel, the first 24/7-news channel in Ukraine, and became the face of the 2004 Orange Revolution for viewers. Prior to this, Andriy was a leader of the journalists’ movement against censorship, and in 2002, launched the Kyiv Independent Media Union, becoming its first chairman. In 2005 he received the Press Freedom Award from Reporters Without Borders (Vienna).
Maria Lisitsyna — 2007 World Fellow
Maria manages the Legal Remedies for Torture project for the Open Society Foundations’ Justice Initiative. She focuses on litigation and advocacy on improving protection from torture in the countries of Central Asia as well as in Pakistan and Mexico. Previously, she was a researcher for Human Rights Watch, working on civil and political rights in Turkmenistan and the rights of migrant workers in Russia and Kazakhstan. She is the founder and former president of the Youth Human Rights Group, a prominent Kyrgyz NGO specializing in human rights monitoring and education. In 2005, she served as a member of Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Council, the body convened to work on constitutional amendments. In 2009, Maria was honored as one of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum.
Ketevan Chkhatarashvili — 2007 World Fellow
Dr. Chkhatarashvili joined Curatio International Foundation (CIF) in 2000. In 2002, the Board of Directors tasked her with leading the organization by appointing her as president. Since then, with its work on healthcare policy and systems issues, CIF has emerged as a leading organization in the post-Soviet region, by delivering unbiased, high-quality research outputs and consulting services. Dr. Chkhatarashvili with support from the CIF team contributed to the organization’s geographical expansion and, as a result, CIF has continued to work on healthcare policy and systems issues in as many as 28 countries. As a public health expert, she has extensive experience of working with the World Bank, UN agencies, USAID, The Global Fund, Sida etc. She has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS, reproductive health from the point of health systems related issues, including transition from external funding. In addition to her managerial background, she has an MD and more than nine years of clinical experience. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Garentina Kraja — 2006 World Fellow
Garentina Kraja joined the staff of Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga as a political adviser on security in 2011. She also helped the American University in Kosovo start new programs and establish new relationships. At age 19, she began working as a journalist covering the conflict in Kosovo - initially for Koha Ditore, Kosovo’s first independent newspaper. As an activist, she also helped establish the post-pessimists, a group of young people from the former Yugoslav states who have since held “ethnic tolerance” conferences throughout Europe. Tina was one of the first journalists to report on the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army. As a result of her coverage of sensitive topics, she was eventually forced to flee to Macedonia, where she continued her reporting as a refugee. After the war ended and Kosovo was placed under UN rule, Tina reported on Kosovo’s Serb minority who faced reprisal attacks by ethnic Albanians.
Balázs László Karafiáth — 2006 World Fellow
László, an economist by trade and one of Hungary’s best-known Internet entrepreneurs, is currently running his fourth start-up company. Culture Culture Inc. is a unique communications research and consulting enterprise. He completed a PhD in 2014, researching the use of meme science in corporate communications. László is also a Cultural Alchemist at Culture2 Inc.
László has been fascinated with culture since his teenage years. He was nearly expelled from the 8th grade for disturbing communist ideology and helped start one of Europe’s most popular week-long music and arts festivals, Sziget, when he was 20. He was a radio host and DJ for 7 years at the opinion-leading Tilos community radio of Budapest.
A serial entrepreneur, László co-founded Darwin’s Marketing Evolution in 2003 in Budapest. Using meme science, the company works with Fortune 500 companies like Unilever, Coca Cola, Abbott Laboratories, or SAP to map their brand-memes and create new communication strategies. His second startup, Carnation Strategic Internet Consulting (1997), was acquired by WPP in 2011. Previously, László was advisor to Hungary’s Ministry of Economy and Transport. László has lived in San Francisco since 2011.
Oyungerel Tsedevdamba — 2006 World Fellow
Oyuna is Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism for Mongolia and serves as president of the Democratic Women’s Union of Mongolia and non-staff advisor to Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia. During her 15 years in public service, she has worked on the country’s privatization efforts and social insurance reform, and served as advisor to the prime minister and a member of parliament. As the co-founder and Executive Director of the Liberty Center, a human rights watchdog, Oyuna has developed a reputation as a tireless advocate for democracy and gender equality in Mongolia. As the co-founder and President of the Local Solutions Foundation, she actively educates the Mongolian public on environmental health. Oyuna is an activist with the Mongolian Democratic Party. She is the author of many books, including Note on My Study in America, a bestseller in Mongolia; Nomadic Dialogues; and Green-Eyed Lama, which was awarded The Best Book of 2008, 2009, and 2010 in Mongolia.
Igor Shevchenko — 2006 World Fellow
As founder and former managing partner of Shevchenko Didkovskiy & Partners, the leading law firm in Ukraine, as well as founder and first President of the Ukrainian Bar Association, Igor has played a major role in bringing the rule of law to his country. He left his legal practice in 2008 and now concentrates on politics. In 2010 he established the Meritocratic Party of Ukraine, which was officially registered in April 2011. The Meritocratic Party of Ukraine is based on socio-liberal ideologies and believes in meritocracy as a basic principle for effective functioning of society, politics and government. Igor contributes to the development of the younger generation of Ukrainians by giving lectures on leadership, self-development and healthy lifestyles. He is also a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders and Founding Curator for Ukraine of the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum.
Lusine Abovyan — 2005 World Fellow
As a former constitutional law specialist for the Armenia Legislative Strengthening Program, Lusine worked with the Armenian Parliament to rewrite the country’s constitution - she focused on establishing free speech, asserting parliamentary power, and improving legislative-executive relations. Lusine served as legal counsel for Internews Armenia and was a law lecturer at the American University of Armenia, teaching Media Law and Intellectual Property Law. She began her career at Shant TV where she wrote and produced television shows aimed at promoting economic and legal reforms in Armenia. She covered legal and economic issues as the News Department Director. Currently, Lusine is President of Abovyan Consulting, a company offering valuation, audit, registration and licensing of intellectual property rights.
Bakhodir Ganiev — 2005 World Fellow
Bakhodir works to advance the economic growth, social transformation, and political modernization of Uzbekistan, and support active participation of youth in development processes. Since 2010, he chairs the Central Council of the Civic Movement of Youth of Uzbekistan “Kamolot”, the largest NGO in the country, which has over 4 million members. He is also a member of boards of numerous organizations and many minister-level state commissions, including commissions on prevention of human trafficking, AIDS, and juvenile crime. A member of the Liberal Democratic Party, he was elected to serve a five year term in the national parliament in 2009. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of the Antimonopoly Policy Improvement Center, a think tank specializing in policy analysis on competition enforcement and private sector development. As a former foreign investment specialist at the Tashkent City Mayor’s Office and a mayor’s advisory board member, Bakhodir has firsthand experience in developing commercial enterprise through public-private partnerships.
Darius Gudelis — 2005 World Fellow
Darius is Chairman of the Board at vip:communications, a public relations, lobbying, and advertisement business. It is a leading Lithuanian company specializing in integrated communications for the private and public sector. Darius focuses on investing in regional media and business development in Central and Eastern Europe. He also co-founded the Institute of Strategic Research, a policy research and analysis organization. He was previously the Chief Domestic Policy Adviser to the President of Lithuania. Elected the youngest mayor in the history of Lithuania at age 26, Darius rose early to national prominence and established a track record for economic improvement and a reputation for ethical government. In 2004, Darius became manager of Valdas Adamkus’s presidential campaign and was credited with guiding Adamkus to victory.
Ilir Dugolli — 2004 World Fellow
Ilir currently serves as Director for NATO and Security Policies at the Kosovo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2008 to 2013 he served as Kosovo’s first Ambassador to Belgium, whereas from 2013 to 2016 he served as From Kosovo’s Ambassador to Sweden (non-resident for Norway, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Iceland). Following Kosovo’s independence, he was among the first group of diplomats charged with establishing Kosovo’s diplomatic missions. In late 2008 he established the Kosovo Embassy in Brussels (covering the Kingdom of Belgium, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Republic of Estonia and international organizations in Brussels). He has been involved with a number of civil society initiatives, including as president of the board for the Project on Ethnic Relations - Kosovo, co-founder of KIPRED (Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development), and co-founder of D4D (Democracy for Development). He was affiliated with the European Elections Law Association, z’Forum 15,z’ the Kosovo-American Education Fund, Public International Law and Policy Group. Between 2002 and 2004, he served as Principal Advisor to the Prime Minister in Kosovoâ€™s first democratically elected government and during 2007-2008 negotiations for Kosovo’s status he was a legal expert to the Kosovo “Team of Unity.” Prior to joining the diplomatic service he was a lecturer with the Law School and Political Science department of the University of Prishtina as well as with American University in Kosovo.
Tinatin Khidasheli — 2004 World Fellow
Tinatin was elected as member of Parliament representing 11th electoral district in the October 2012 general elections. and currently serves as the Minister of Defense of Georgia. In 2010 she was elected to and served on the City Council in Tbilisi, Georgia and as a member of the Budget Committee. As one of the leaders of the opposition Republican Party, she strived to eradicate state corruption in Georgia, while fighting for human rights, democratic reforms and respect for the constitution and laws of Georgia. She was involved in numerous independent anti-corruption investigation projects, supporting journalists and NGOs in information gathering, disclosure and reporting. Previously, as president of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Tinatin played an important role in observing parliamentary elections, uncovering electoral fraud, creating dispute-resolution programs, and lobbying for the creation of state-run legal aid services for the poor and disenfranchised.
Karina Dashko — 2004 World Fellow
As a leading corporate governance expert, Karina represents a new generation of Russians committed to building a country based on the rule of law, market economies, and good governance. She is currently Director for Corporate Affairs at T Plus, Russia’s largest private energy company. Before she worked as Director for Corporate Issues at Integrated Energy Systems, Corporate Governance Director in UC RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminum and alumina producer, and was formerly head of the law department and chief compliance officer for VimpelCom, one of Russia’s leading providers of wireless telecommunications services. Karina has worked with the state Duma to develop programs for disclosing corporate information and protecting minority shareholders, and helped draft plans for the Russian security exchange regulatory body. She has also served as a legal consultant to the International Finance Corporation, where she helped promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries.
Emilia Sičáková Beblavá — 2003 World Fellow
Emilia works with The World Bank, the Open Society Institute, the European Commission, and the British Department for International Development and many other international institutions to help them understand corruption in formerly communist countries. As president of Transparency International Slovakia (TIS), Emilia created publicity campaigns and led fundraising and lobbying efforts to fight institutional corruption. She continues to serve as a Board Member for TIS. Currently, Emilia is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Public Policy and Economics at Comenius University in Bratislava, where she conducts research and teaches courses on anti-corruption strategies and multilevel governance.
Temuri Yakobashvili — 2002 World Fellow
Ambassador Temuri Yakobashvili is an Executive Vice President of PASS LLC, global social impact consultancy. He’s also founder and president of the New International Leadership Institute, non-for profit organization, dedicated to reforms, good governance and anti-corruption. Up to fall of 2014, he held position of the Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US. From early February 2011 to March 2013 he served as an Ambassador of Georgia to the United States. Prior to his posting, he was a Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Reintegration in the Government of Georgia.
Ambassador Yakobashvili is a career diplomat who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia in 1991 and held various positions, including that of a Director of the Department for USA, Canada and Latin America. He holds a diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary granted by the President of Georgia.
Amb. Yakobashvili is a graduate of the Department Physics from the Tbilisi State University. In 1998 he was trained on Mid-career Diplomatic Courses at the Center of Political and Diplomatic Studies at Oxford University. In addition to being a Yale World Fellow, he participated in the Executive Security Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 2004. In 2006 he was visiting researcher at the Silk Road Study Center of Uppsala University, Sweden.
Ambassador Yakobashvili is the co-founder and has served as an Executive Vice-President of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS), leading think tank in the Caucasus region. Now he chairs the Governing Board of the GFSIS. Amb. Yakobashvili is co founder of the Atlantic Council of Georgia, as well as of the Council of Foreign Relations of Georgia. He is a member of the Governing Board of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) and the Europe House of Georgia.
Amb. Yakobashvili frequently contributes to Georgian and international media on issues of regional security and transformation.
On February, 2012 Amb. Yakobashvili was decorated with Presidential Medal of Excellence. He is married to Ms. Yana Fremer; they have two children. He speaks Georgian, English, Russian and Hebrew.
Taalaibek Djoumataev — 2002 World Fellow
Taalaibek is a former board member of the Kyrgyz Republic National Bank who played a critical role in the structural and regulatory changes made to the Kyrgyz financial system during his country’s shift to a market-based economy. He is now Chairman of the Managing Board of one of Kyrgyzstan’s private commercial banks. He also serves as a Member of the Supervisory Board of the Union of Commercial Banks of the Kyrgyz Republic and chairs the Board of Directors of the local Credit Information Bureau.
Jan Jakub Wygnanski — 2002 World Fellow
As a member of the Public Benefit Council, Jan continues his active involvement in building civil society in Poland. He was involved in the creation and implementation of many major strategic and regulatory initiatives aiming to support the development of the third sector in Poland. He recently launched a new initiative: the Unit for Social Innovation and Research (Shipyard). The aim of Shipyard is to bridge academics and practitioners in a common search for optimum models to address social needs in Poland. A key participant in the Solidarity movement that toppled Poland’s communist regime, Jan has helped to strengthen and advise NGOs throughout Eastern and Central Europe.