The Valdai Club Academy is the Award’s expert body. It consists of the most authoritative and prominent Club experts who took an active part in Club meetings six or more times and have publications in their name on the websites and print publications of the Club at the time of the Award's founding. The Valdai Club Academy is the Award's highest expert body
Senior Representative, Representative Office in Moscow, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)
After graduating from Waseda University with a degree in political science, Taisuke Abiru earned his MA at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University). He has assumed the current post since January 2017. Before that he had worked as Research Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation (TKFD), a leading Japanese think-tank, for 12 years. His research interests include Japan-Russia relations, US-Russia relations, China-Russia relations and Russia’s internal politics.
Founding Director, French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS)
Professor of international relations in the “Institut d’Etudes européennes” (Institute for European Studies) in the University of Paris-8. Director of the quarterly journal “La Revue internationale et stratégique” (International and strategic review) since 1991, and the Editor of “L’Année stratégique” (Strategic Yearbook) since 1985.
He has published or edited more than sixty books dealing with International Relations, Nuclear Deterrence and Disarmament, European Security, French International Policy, Sport in the International Relations and also on the conflict in the Middle East and its impact in France. Several books have become classics, reissued on a regular basis and translated in several languages. Pascal Boniface publishes articles in international and strategic reviews, is regularly present in the national and international media, written or audiovisual, and takes part in many conferences in France and abroad.
Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic (1991–1992); Member, Board of Directors, Paneuropean University, Bratislava
Lawyer. Member of dissident movement in Czechoslovakia in communist time. After Velvet revolution - Deputy Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia, later Prime Minister of Slovakia, Member of Parliament of Slovakia, Chairman of the Cristian-Democratic party of Slovakia (KDH), Minister of justice of Slovakia. Publications: Seen from the Danube, Diaries 1994 – 2007; Yes and Not of Jan Carnogursky.
President of TTG Global LLC, an international strategic advisory company
Mrs. Gati was Senior International Advisor at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where she focused primarily on Russian foreign and economic policy, US foreign policy, US-Russian relations, and the global challenges facing both countries in an increasingly turbulent international system (1997–2016).
She served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and the Eurasian States at the National Security Council in the White House (1993) and then as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) until 1997. Before joining government, she was Senior Vice President for Policy Studies at the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA), where she worked for over two decades.
Mrs. Gati received her Bachelor’s degree in Russian Language and Literature from Pennsylvania State University. She received her Master’s degree in Russian Language and Literature, as well as her Master’s in International Affairs (MIA) and a Harriman Institute Certificate in Russian Studies from Columbia University.
She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Board member of the U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC), and a member of the Board of Directors of PJSC “LUKOIL”.She has frequently provided commentary for major networks and newspapers on American foreign policy and US-Russian relations.
Director, French Institute of International Relations (Ifri)
He previously was Ifri Vice President for Strategic Development and the Director of its Russia/NIS Centre.
His academic and professional background has been closely related to post-Soviet space, but also to wider international issues (security, energy, and digital governance). As Lavoisier Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Security Studies (European Union – Paris) and Marie Curie Fellow at the Department of War Studies (King’s College – London), Gomart has acquired a diversified international experience.He is currently working on Russia, digital governance, country risk, and think tanks. He recently published The Return of Geopolitical Risk - Russia, China and the United States (2016), Notre intérêt national. Quelle politique étrangère pour la France? (ed., with Thierry de Montbrial, 2017), as well as Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next French President (ed., with Marc Hecker, 2017).
Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC)
He was Deputy Director of the Institute for US and Canadian Studies. Founder and first president of the Moscow Public Science Foundation. Taught Russian foreign policy at the University of Miami (USA), and at the Lewis & Clark College in Portland (University of California).
He was elected Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, non-profit partnership established by order of the President of the Russian Federation (2011).
Academic focus: international relations, foreign and domestic policy of Russia and Russian-American relations.Author of over 120 publications dedicated to the analysis of Soviet/Russian-American relations, global security, and the foreign and domestic policy of the USSR and Russia.
Head, Regional Office for Cooperation and Peace in Europe (Vienna), Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Dr. Reinhard Krumm got his MA in Russian History from the University of Hamburg (1989), and his PhD from Regensburg University (2003), where he is a lecturer on Russian History since 2007. He holds an honoree professorship from the department of Political Science at Moscow State University. He worked as a journalist in the former Soviet Union (1991–1998), being the Moscow correspondent of Der Spiegel magazine (1996–1998). He then joined the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, serving as the Head of the Regional Central Asian office in Tashkent/Uzbekistan (2003–2007), as the Head of the Russian office in Moscow (2007–2012) and as the Head of the Department of Central and Eastern Europe, Berlin (2012–2016). His latest publication is Europe´s Security Governance and Transatlantic Relations.
Senior Fellow and Research Professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies (CERES), School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
He has previously held senior positions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as well as teaching and research positions at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.He is the author and editor of 6 books including The Russia Balance Sheet (with Anders Aslund, 2009) and Russia after the Fall (2002) and more than 100 academic articles, book chapters, reports, and op-eds. His most recent publication is Elevation and Calibration: A New Russia Policy for America (2016).
His work focuses on Russia and Eurasia, the Middle East, and global macro issues. Clifford Kupchan has published numerous articles and essays on Russia, Iran, and U.S. foreign policy. He frequently lectures on U.S. relations with Russia and Iran, and on global trends. He is a frequent commentator on television news programs and in many major U.S. and European newspapers.
Before joining Eurasia Group, he served as Vice President and Senior Fellow at The Center for the National Interest. He lived in Moscow where he was Vice President of the Eurasia Foundation (2000–2002). During the Clinton Administration, Clifford Kupchan served as a senior official at the US Department of State. Before that, he worked for many years for the House International Relations Committee. He served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor for Eurasia, North Africa and foreign assistance.
Vice President, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
He is also adjunct professor of Graduate School of International Studies at Hanyang University. He is honorary professor of Economic Research Institute of the Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences and honorary professor of the Far East Institute of International Relations in Russia as well.
Lee Jae-Young has over 20 years of professional experience as an economist and academic. He served as an academic visitor at Wolfson College of University of Oxford, a visiting scholar at Davis Center at Harvard University.
Lee Jae-Young has conducted numerous research in Korea's economic strategy toward Russia and Eurasia including the CIS countries. Recent publications: The Political Economy of the Pacific Russia (coauthor, 2017), Evaluation of Korea-Russia Economic Cooperation and its mid-to long-term Vision (coauthor, 2015), etc.
Professor, Georgetown University in QatarAnatol Lieven is a senior fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC. His main research focus at present is the development and nature of nationalism in the contemporary world. His next book will be a debate on the question of migration to Europe. His most recent books are Pakistan: A Hard Country (2011); America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (second edition 2012); and Ethical Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World (with John Hulsman, 2007).
Professor on International Relations, Department of Political Science, University of Innsbruck
Since 1995 – lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna. He was Senior research fellow at the Austrian Institute of International Affairs in Vienna (1991–2008).
Main research areas: strategic studies (political and military security, armed conflicts), strategic arms control, energy security, Russian foreign policy.
Recent Publications: Bombs, Boycotts Bargains. Eine Analyse von Strategien im Umgang mit dem Nuklearprogramm Nordkoreas (An analysis of strategies on North Korea’s nuclear programme) (2016); Russlands Intervention in Syrien (Russia’s Syria intervention) (2016); From Reset to Paralaysis? Die Beziehungen zu Russland und die Zukunft der US Weltführungspolitik (US Relations with Russia and the Future of US Global Leadership) (2014); Gestörte Leitungen. Russland und die Gasversorgung der EU (Russia and EU Gas Supplies) (2012).
Professor, European University at St. Petersburg
Recurrent visiting professor, Central European University, Budapest. Main research interests: history of empires and nationalism, memory politics, history of ideas. He gave lectures in many universities: Harvard, Columbia, Berkeley, Stanford, Maryland, West Point, Penn, Munich, Berlin (Humboldt and Free), Cologne, Paris (EHESS), Aix-en-Provence, London (SSEES), Manchester, Edinburgh, Geneva, Basel, Warsaw, Cracow Universities, and many universities in Russia and the post-Soviet countries, including Vilnius, Tartu, Kiev, Lviv, Almaty, Bishkek. Over 200 publications. Author of 8 monographs and editor of 20 collective volumes. Recent books: Nationalizing Empires (2015); Nation or the Might of the Myth (2016).
Head of Foreign Affairs and New Europe Department, Askanews multimedia agency
Previous positions: correspondent in Moscow for the Italian daily Il Messaggero (1990–1995); Special correspondent, coordinator, Analysis programme, Euronews – Great Britain, France (1997–2001); Diplomatic correspondent, Apcom News Agency (2001–2005); Head, New Europe desk, TM-News press agency.
Research interests: Russia and the Caucasus; Russia and Ukraine; geopolitics.Selected publications: Chechnya, the words to understand; Ukraine, anatomy of an earthquake; essays about Russia and former USSR for geo-political magazine Limes.
Director General of the Centre for Political Information
Member of a Board of Trustees of Russian State University for humanities, Aide to a rector. He is an author of over 100 scientific papers, including monographs in the field of political science and history of Russia. Alexey Mukhin issued an Internet- magazine FEC (Facts, Events, Comments) as the editor-in-chief (2002). Spheres of his professional interests include: political analysis (analysis of political processes); formation, behavior, and psychology of elites; the military reform and the reform of the Russian intelligence services; state agencies and the administrative reform in the Russian Federation; national security; economic risks; organized crime.Alexey Mukhin’s comments on current political and economic developments are regularly cited by the leading national and international media, such as Spiegel, The New York Times, Le Figaro, France 24, Deutsche Welle, Kommersant, Vedomosti, RBC-daily, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Expert, Profile, Izvestia, Channel One, Russia today, Channel 5, Business FM, Finam FM, Kommersant FM, Echo of Moscow etc.
Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent; Associate Fellow of Chatham HouseAfter graduating in History from the London School of Economics, he took a PhD from the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham. He held lectureships at the Universities of Essex and California, Santa Cruz, before joining the University of Kent in 1987. He has published widely on Soviet, Russian and post-communist affairs. Books include Communism in Russia (2010); The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism and the Medvedev Succession (2011); Putin and the Oligarch: The Khodorkovsky - Yukos Affair (2014) and Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia (2014). His latest book is Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands (2015). His book Russia against the Rest: The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order will be published in late 2017.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Islamic Republic of Iran to the Russian Federation
Director, Russian Studies Group, Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran; Member, Parliament of IRI since 2008. Visiting professor, Political Sciences Faculty Moscow
Humanitarian University since 1999; Member, Kazakhstan Academy of Social Sciences since 1997; Editor-in-chief, Journal of World Studies, University of Tehran from 2011.
Previous positions: Cultural attaché, Embassy of IRI in Kazakhstan (1995–1998) and Russia (1999–2003); Editor-in-chief of “Persia” magazine, Institute of the Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1999–2003); Deputy Head for Research and Education, Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (2003–2005); Head, Institute of Culture, ECO Regional Organization (2005–2006). Selected publications: Bilateral relations of Iran and Central Asia (2011); Iran and Russia’s Relations (2008); Russia in Search of Identity, written by James Billington, translated and edited by Mehdi Sanaei (2006); Souvenir from Central Asia (1999); Iran’s Position in Central Asia (1997). Authored many other books and numerous articles in English, Farsi and Russian.
Senior Research Fellow, Global Challenges Studies, Xinhua News Agency
He is Researcher and Director of Russian Internal Affairs Office, Euro-Asia Social Development Research Institute; Executive Member of Center of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies.
Between 1978 and 2000 Sheng Shiliang served three terms (14 years in total) at the Moscow Branch of Xinhua News Agency, first as a reporter and then the Deputy Branch Chief. Has participated in the Valdai Discussion Club meetings since 2007.
His main works include: A Guide to Journalism Translation; Witnessing the Unexpected; Around the Globe; China's Neighboring Countries; Putin in my opinion. Author of more than 1000 articles and essays on Russia, the CIS and international relations.
Professor, Hosei University (Japan)
Honorary research fellow of Birmingham University (UK) (1983–1985). Professor of Seikei from 1985 and Hosei University from 1988. Visiting fellow of Harvard Research Center (1992–1994), LSE Cold War Research Center (2009), Institute of the Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2009). Chairperson of Japanese Research Association of International Relations. Member of Russian-Japanese Emeritus Club (2004–2006). Has participated in the Valdai Discussion Club meetings since 2007.His research interests include Soviet and Russian political history, History of Cold War in Asia. Recent publications include books on Kim Il Sung and Moscow, Old Believers and Russian pivot to Asia. Coedited Russian-Japanese Parallel History. The latest book published: God and Revolution (Ivanovo-Voznesensk history from 1905 until 1956), paying special attention to Old Believers.
Head of Research Department, Leibniz Institute Peace Research Institute Frankfurt; Research Professor, National Research University-Higher School of Economics, Moscow
Among others he is Regional Coordinator for Eurasia of the “Bertelsmann Transformation Index” (BTI) and member of the German-Russian “Petersburg Dialogue”. In 1997 he founded the “Schlangenbad Talks”, an annual German-Russian conference series on foreign and security policy. He was member (2005–2012), and chairman (2007–2011), of the Advisory Board on Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building of the German Foreign Ministry.
Recent Publications: Pluraler Frieden – Leitgedanken zu einer neuen Russlandpolitik (co-authored, 2017); Russia's Turn Eastward, China's Turn Westward: Cooperation and Conflict on the New Silk Road (2016); The Future of European Security (2015); More than a Road Bump? The German-Russian Crisis Within the Crisis (2015); The Comparative International Politics of Democracy Promotion (2014), and others.
Foreign policy senior analyst at Hungarian conservative daily Magyar Nemzet
He is also media teacher at Budapest College of Communication. His areas of expertise are the countries of the post-soviet space, Central Europe and Central Asia. He consequently publishes works, analyzing the main problems of world politics, geopolitics, and also the following themes in his area of expertise: Russia’s development, Russia’s role in the world, relationships within the post-soviet region, Central Europe caught in between East and West.He published a book about Russia called The Putin Mystery (2000). His analysis, columns and interviews are published in Czech, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian and Polish press. He is the recipient of many Hungarian journalist awards, and received the Republic of Poland Knight’s Cross for his contribution to strengthening ties between the two countries. Has participated in the Valdai Discussion Club meetings since 2009.
Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Deputy Director at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
Dmitry Suslov conducts research on various issues of international relations, including US foreign and domestic policy and Russia-US relations, Russian foreign policy, Russia-EU relations. He regularly consults the Russian government institutions and business enterprises on these and other issues. He is also a Senior lecturer at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of the National Research University Higher School of Economics since 2006, as well as Deputy Director for Research at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy since 2004. Dmitry Suslov has co-authored several books (incl. The U.S. Policy in Asia Pacific (2014), Non-Military Instruments of the Russian Foreign Policy: Regional and Global Mechanisms (2012); Russia: a Strategy for the New World (2011); Russia vs. Europe. Confrontation or Alliance? (2009); Russia and the World. A New Epoch (2008); The World Politics (2008); The World Around Russia: 2017 (2007). At the Higher School of Economics (School of World Economy and International Affairs) he teaches courses on the US Domestic and Foreign Policy, Introduction to International Relations, Global Governance, US-Russia Relations, and Russia-EU Relations.
Executive Director of Russian National Committee on BRICS research; Director of the Asian strategy center at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Diplomat (rank of Minister-Councelor). Professor of oriental studies at Moscow MGIMO University (from 2008). Scholar with decades-long experience on East Asian and global issues. Since 2008 he has been working for the Russkiy Mir Presidential Foundation in Moscow as chair of regional programmes, coordinating, inter alia, Asian and African programmes.
He served two postings in North Korea at the USSR trade mission (1977-1980; 1984-1987), worked for trade promotion agencies related to Asia.
Georgy Toloraya served at Russian Foreign Ministry, was minister counselor of the Russian Embassy in South Korea (1993–1998), First Asian Department Deputy Director-General (1998–2003) and Consul General of Russia in Sydney (2003–2007). He collaborated with a number of academic institutes (among them IMEMO and Institute of Economics) as a full-time and part-time researcher and was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC (2007–2008).
Author of more than 200 articles and 7 books on East Asia and global governance issues.
Director, Center for Political-Military Analysis, Hudson Institute
Richard Weitz is also Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute. His current research includes regional security developments relating to Europe, Eurasia, and East Asia as well as U.S. foreign and defense policies. Before joining Hudson (2005), Richard Weitz worked for shorter terms at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Defense Science Board, Harvard University’, and other research institutions, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
He is a graduate of Harvard University (Ph.D. in Political Science), Oxford University (M.Phil. in Politics), the London School of Economics (M.Sc. in International Relations), and Harvard College (B.A. with Highest Honors in Government), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Daniel Webster Professor, Department of Government, Dartmouth College
Formerly Professor, Department of Government (political science), Dartmouth College (2005–2008); Associate Professor, Department of Government, Dartmouth College (2000–2005); Assistant Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University (1998–2000); Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, Princeton University (1989–1996).
His research interests include international relations theory, the Cold War, and US and Russian foreign policy. He is the author or editor of eight books and some 60 articles and book chapters on topics ranging from the Cold War and its end to unipolarity and contemporary US grand strategy.Books: America Abroad: The United States’ Global Role in the 21st century (with S. Brooks, 2016); Status in World Politics (W. Wohlforth, T.V. Paul, and D. Larson, eds., 2013); International Relations Theory and the Consequences of Unipolarity (editor, with G. John Ikenberry and Michael M. Mastanduno, 2011).
Professor, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; Director of Center of One Belt, One Road and Eurasian Security, China National Institute for SCO Studies, Shanghai
He was Director of China Policy Analysis at HEID. Xiang Lanxin held the Henry A. Kissinger Chair of Foreign Policy and International Affairs at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, (2003-2004). He has also held a Chair of International Affairs at Fudan University in Shanghai, and Zijiang Chair at East China Normal University and a Visiting Chair at Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), Beijing. He is a Senior Associate at CSIS in Washington, DC, and Contributing Editor at Survival, IISS, London.
Xiang Lanxin is a regular commentator for South China Morning Post, Hong Kong and Global Times, Beijing.
He has a PhD from the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.His primary interest is China’s relations with the US and Europe, with publications that include three English books and five in Chinese.
Director of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
He is also professor at Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Research interests: relations between China and the Central Asian countries; relations between China and Russia; relations between Chinese neighboring countries and Chinese borderland.Books: The strategic decisions of the high-ranking top leaders of the Soviet Union in 70 years - from Lenin to Gorbachev (1998); The relations between China and the new independent Central Asian countries (1996); The rise of the Central Asia (1993); Medvedev and Putin - the combination of the sovereign power (2009).ranking leaders of the Soviet Union for 70 years: from Lenin to Gorbachev (1998); China and Central Asia: Towards a New Relationship; Security Issues in China with Central Asian States (1998); The relations between China and new independent central Asian countries (1996); Rising Central Asia (1993).