Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, Founding Director of the Center for Markets and Governance at the University of Pittsburgh, has been elected by the members of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) to be its next president. CESS serves as a global community of scholars, practitioners, and institutions committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of Central Eurasia. Her research, based on extensive field research, spanning several countries in the region including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan, analyzes how governance institutions affect security and well-being.  

An active member of the CESS community for two decades, she has served many roles within the organization. She is currently serving as the organizer of the 2021 CESS Regional Conference, which will be held next summer in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. This landmark conference is the first major academic conference to be held in Uzbekistan in more than a decade. In 2018, she hosted the CESS annual conference at the University of Pittsburgh, which brought more than 400 researchers to the University. She has also served on the Task Force on Field Safety, which produced an important report on how to support scholars who face challenges from authoritarianism to conflict, among many other committees.  

As CESS President, Murtazashvili hopes to provide emerging scholars from the region with more opportunities to engage with global communities of research.  Given the changing environment, she will work with the organization to host more online events and workshops. To do this, Murtazashvili will draw on her success in converting CGM events and research to digital platforms. This will help address the deep challenges the COVID-19 crisis has caused for CESS members and stakeholders.  

Murtazashvili will serve as president-elect, alongside the executive leadership of CESS, which includes Morgan Liu, (Ohio State University), and Marlène Laruelle (George Washington University).  

About CESS 
Founded in 2000, the Central Eurasian Studies Society serves as a global community of scholars, practitioners, and institutions committed to advancing knowledge and understand of Central Eurasia. In addition to hosting an annual conference and a bi-annual regional conference, CESS also supports academic research through awarding travel grants, paper awards, and publishing two journals. Learn more about CESS.