John Leake graduated with a BA from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. After graduation, he completed a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Kazan, Russia. His current research interests focus on cultural and artistic exchange in the early Soviet period as well as the role of public diplomacy in contemporary Russian foreign policy. John is also a recipient of the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship, which will prepare him for a career as a Foreign Service Officer in the US Department of State. He hopes to focus his career on the post-Soviet space.