Nargis Kassenova is a senior fellow and director of the Program on Central Asia at the Davis Center. Prior to joining the center she was an associate professor at the Department of International Relations and Regional Studies of KIMEP University (Almaty, Kazakhstan). She is the former founder and director of the KIMEP Central Asian Studies Center (CASC) and the China and Central Asia Studies Center (CCASC). Kassenova holds a Ph.D. in international cooperation studies from the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University (Japan). Her research focuses on Central Asian politics and security, Eurasian geopolitics, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, governance in Central Asia, and the history of state-making in Central Asia. Kassenova is a member of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia Division, the U.N. High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs, the Central Eurasian Studies Society board, and the Steering Committee of the OSCE Network of Thinktanks and Academic Institutions. She is on the editorial boards of the journals Central Asian Survey, Central Asian Affairs, and REGION: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.
Senior Fellow; Director, Program on Central Asia, Davis Center