Paula Dobriansky will moderate a seminar featuring Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute Dr. Leon Aron and Director, Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute Dr. Anatol Lieven.

Aron and Lieven will address: How does Putin fall? Or does he? Who are the key players in Russia post-Putin? Can the U.S. and the West influence these internal developments? If so, how?

This event is on February 28, 2024 from 12:00 - 1:15 PM in the Belfer Center Library (L369). This session is on the record and restricted to Harvard ID holders.

Leon Aron, who was born in Moscow and came to the United States as a refugee in 1978, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He studies Russian domestic and foreign policy, US-Russia relations, and the economic, social, and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet evolution.

From 2014 to 2020, Dr. Aron was a governor of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the operations of several international broadcasting outlets, including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. From 1990 to 2004, he was a panelist on Looking from America (Gliadya iz Ameriki), a weekly Voice of America Russian-language radio and television show. Dr. Aron has taught at Georgetown University and received the US Institute of Peace’s Peace Fellowship. In 2011-12 he was Co-chairman of the Russia Advisory Group of Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential election campaign.

Dr. Aron is also a prolific writer and editor. His latest book, Riding the Tiger: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the Uses of War (AEI Press, 2023), chronicles, through the use of hundreds of Russian sources, how Vladimir Putin has used militarized patriotism to transform Russian society and maintain his grip on power. The book has been praised by Russia experts and described as “one of the most important stories of our time” and “a fantastic read.”

Dr. Aron’s other books include Roads to the Temple: Memory, Truth, Ideas, and Ideals in the Making of the Russian Revolution, 1987–1991 (Yale University Press, 2012), in which he details and analyzes the intellectual and moral revolution that precipitated the end of the Soviet Union; Russia’s Revolution: Essays 1989–2006 (AEI Press, 2007); and the first in-depth biography of Boris Yeltsin, Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life (St. Martin’s Press, 2000).

His edited volumes include To Have and to Hold: Putin’s Quest for Control in the Former Soviet Empire (AEI, 2018); and Putin’s Russia: How It Rose, How It Is Maintained, and How It Might End (AEI, 2015), which includes essays by nine leading Russian scholars.

A regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, and popular news websites, Dr. Aron has published essays and articles on Russian foreign policy, politics, and literature in the Atlantic, CNN, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, among other outlets. From 1999 to 2014, he wrote AEI’s Russian Outlook, a quarterly essay on the economic, political, social, and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet transition.

In addition to his writings, Dr. Aron is a frequent guest on television and radio. His interviews include PBS NewsHour, CNN, C-SPAN, CBS News’ 60 Minutes, and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Dr. Aron has a PhD in political sociology and an MA in media sociology from Columbia University. He also has a BA from Moscow State Pedagogical University.

Anatol Lieven directs the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He was formerly a professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and in the War Studies Department of King’s College London. He also served as a member of the advisory committee of the South Asia Department of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and of the academic board of the Valdai discussion club in Russia. He holds a BA and PhD in history and political science from Cambridge University in England.

From 1985 to 1998, Lieven worked as a journalist in South Asia, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and covered the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya and the southern Caucasus. From 2000 to 2007 he worked at think tanks in Washington DC.

Lieven is author of several books on Russia and its neighbors including The Baltic Revolutions: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence (Yale University Press, 1993), Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power? (Yale University Press, 1998), and Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry (US Institute of Peace, 1999). His book Pakistan: A Hard Country (Penguin UK, 2011) is on the official reading lists for US and British diplomats serving in that country. His latest book, Climate Change and the Nation State, was published in March 2020 and in an updated paperback edition in Fall 2021.

Paula Dobriansky will moderate a seminar featuring CNAS Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program Andrea Kendall-Taylor and former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev.

Kendall-Taylor and Kozyrev will address: In the aftermath of the war in Ukraine, what relations should be established with Moscow? Who in Moscow will be the key interlocutors?  What national security policies should be advanced as a deterrent against future Russian aggression – Ukraine accession to NATO, permanent U.S. base in Poland, other?

This event is on March 4, 2024 from 12:00 - 1:15 PM in the Malkin Penthouse. Restricted to Harvard ID holders.

Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS. She works on national security challenges facing the United States and Europe, focusing on Russia, authoritarianism and threats to democracy, and the state of the transatlantic alliance.

Prior to joining CNAS, Kendall-Taylor served for eight years as a senior intelligence officer. From 2015 to 2018, she was deputy national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). In this role, Kendall-Taylor led the U.S. intelligence community’s (IC) strategic analysis on Russia, represented the IC in interagency policy meetings, provided analysis to the National Security Council, and briefed the DNI and other senior staff for White House and international meetings. Prior to joining the NIC, Kendall-Taylor was a senior analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency where she worked on Russia and Eurasia, the political dynamics of autocracies, and democratic decline.

Outside CNAS, Kendall-Taylor has been a CNN national security analyst. She is also a Distinguished Practitioner in Grand Strategy at Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Her work has been published in numerous political science and policy journals, including Journal of Peace Research, Democratization, Journal of Democracy, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, The Washington Quarterly, and Foreign Policy.

Kendall-Taylor received her BA in politics from Princeton University and her PhD in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a Fulbright scholar in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, where she conducted dissertation research on oil and autocracy.

Andrei Kozyrev is the former Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation. In 1974 he graduated from the Moscow State Institute for International Relations and subsequently earned a degree in Historical Sciences. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1974 and served as head of the Department of International Organizations from 1989-1990. He became the Foreign Minister of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in October 1990 and retained his position when the Russian Federation gained independence in 1991. 

Kozyrev was an early proponent for increased cooperation between the United States and Russia and advocated for the end of the Cold War. He was a participant in the historic decision taken in December 1991 between the leaders of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine to peacefully dissolve the Soviet Union. As Russia’s first Foreign Minister, Kozyrev promoted a policy of equal cooperation with the newly formed independent states of the former Soviet Union, as well as improved relations with Russia’s immediate neighbors and the West. 

Kozyrev left the post of Foreign Minister in January 1996, but continued in politics by representing the northern city of Murmansk in the Russian Duma for four years. Since 2000, Kozyrev has lectured on international affairs and served on the boards of a number of Russian and international companies.

Paula Dobriansky will moderate a seminar featuring S.T. Lee Professor of U.S.-Asia Relations, Harvard Kennedy School, Rana Mitter and Senior Research Scientist, China and Indo-Pacific Studies Division, CNA, and Professor of Political Science, Montclair State University, Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick. The seminar is sponsored by the Belfer Center and Russia Matters and a part of the series "Russia's Past, Present and Future."

The conversation will address: How can the Russia-China alignment be best described? Will China play an important role in a post-Putin Russia? If so, how? What are the areas we can expect growth and over what issues will there be dissension. What is the long-term impact of this relationship on the Indo-Pacific?

This event is on March 27, 2024 from 12:00 - 1:15 PM in the Belfer Center Library (L369). Restricted to Harvard ID holders.

Rana Mitter is S.T. Lee Chair in US-Asia Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is the author of several books, including Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II (2013) which won the 2014 RUSI/Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature, and was named a Book of the Year in the Financial Times and Economist. His latest book is China’s Good War: How World War II is Shaping a New Nationalism (Harvard, 2020). His writing on contemporary China has appeared recently in Foreign Affairs, the Harvard Business Review, The Spectator, The Critic, and The Guardian.  He has commented regularly on China in media and forums around the world, including at the World Economic Forum at Davos. His recent documentary on contemporary Chinese politics "Meanwhile in Beijing" is available on BBC Sounds.  He is co-author, with Sophia Gaston, of the report “Conceptualizing a UK-China Engagement Strategy” (British Foreign Policy Group, 2020). He won the 2020 Medlicott Medal for Service to History, awarded by the UK Historical Association.  He previously taught at Oxford, and is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Elizabeth Wishnick is a Senior Research Scientist in the China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division at the Center for Naval Analyses, on leave from her position as Professor of Political Science at Montclair State University. Since 2002, she has been a research scholar at WEAI. She previously taught undergraduate and graduate courses in international relations, Chinese politics,
and Chinese foreign policy at Barnard College, Columbia College, and SIPA. Dr. Wishnick has dual regional expertise on China and Russia and is an expert on Chinese foreign policy, Sino-Russian relations, Northeast Asian and Central Asian security, and Arctic geopolitics.  Her book project, China’s Risk China’s Risk: Energy, Water, Food and Regional Security (forthcoming Columbia University Press) addresses the security consequences of energy, water and food risks in China for its Eurasian neighbors, a topic she explores in a related policy blog, She received a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, an MA in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University, and a BA from Barnard College. She speaks Mandarin, Russian, and French.

Paula Dobriansky will moderate a seminar featuring Center Associate at the Davis Center for Eurasian and Russian Studies, Craig Kennedy, former President and CEO of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, Daniel Russell, and President of the Center for National Interest, Paul Saunders. The seminar is sponsored by the Belfer Center and Russia Matters and a part of the series "Russia's Past, Present and Future."

The conversation will address: What is the state of Russia's economy today? What has been the effect, if any, of Western sanctions? What market structure can be expected in a post-Putin Russia? What are the future trends of Russia's energy?

This event is on April 1, 2024 from 12:00 - 1:15 PM in the Belfer Center Library (L369). Restricted to Harvard ID holders.

Craig Kennedy is a historian, energy commentator and ex-international finance professional. He worked for twenty years advising corporate clients worldwide on capital raising and strategic transactions, first with Morgan Stanley, then with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was a Vice Chairman. In the early 1990s, he opened the Moscow office of Cambridge Energy Research Associates.  Prior to that, he taught at Harvard College. He has spoken widely on Russia, finance and energy.

At present, Craig is writing a history of Russia’s oil industry since 1860 and how it has affected the emergence of civil society. He has served as Chairman of Pushkin House, an independent UK cultural foundation, and in other volunteer public service roles.

Craig received a BA, summa cum laude, in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard College, an M Litt in Turkic Languages from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. His dissertation examined the emergence of 16th century Muscovy as an ascendant Eurasian power.

Daniel Russell is an independent consultant advising U.S. businesses with international operations. Mr. Russell was the President and CEO of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, the premier Washington-based bilateral trade organization dedicated to commercial relations between the U.S. and Russia (2013-2023). Prior to joining the Council, Mr. Russell was a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service with tours of duty in Washington, DC and abroad as a diplomat.

Mr. Russell served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for relations with Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus and for international security and arms control issues (2010 to 2013), Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2008 to 2009), Deputy Chief of Mission in Moscow (2005 to 2008) and Deputy Chief of Mission in Almaty, Kazakhstan (2000 to 2003). Mr. Russell also held positions as the State Department's Director of the Office of Russian Affairs and Director of the Office of European Political and Security Affairs, Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Yekaterinburg, Special Assistant for Europe to the Under Secretary of Political Affairs, and First Secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Mr. Russell holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maine and an M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Paul J. Saunders is President of the Center for the National Interest and a member of its board of directors. His expertise spans U.S. foreign and security policy, energy security and climate change, U.S.-Russia relations and Russian foreign policy, and U.S. relations with Japan and South Korea.

Saunders is a Senior Advisor at Energy Innovation Reform Project, where he served as President from 2019 to 2024. He has been a member of EIRP’s board of directors since 2013 and served as chairman from 2014 to 2019. At EIRP, Saunders has focused on the collision between great power competition and the energy transition, including such issues as energy security, energy technology competition, and climate policy in a divided world. In this context, he has engaged deeply in energy and climate issues in the Indo-Pacific region, especially U.S. relations with Japan and South Korea. His most recent project at EIRP is an assessment of Russia’s evolving role in the global energy system.

From 2005 to 2019, Saunders was Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Center for the National Interest. In addition to his management role, he directed the Center’s U.S.-Russian Relations Program and led projects on other issues, including energy and climate change and U.S.- Japan relations. He also served as Associate Publisher of the foreign policy magazine The National Interest.

Saunders served in the Bush Administration from 2003 to 2005 as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs. In that capacity, he worked on a broad range of transnational issues, in particular with respect to Russia, Ukraine, and the former Soviet Union, as well as Iraq, China and India.

Earlier, Saunders served as Director of the Center from 1997 to 2003, and was Assistant Director of the Center from its founding in 1994 until 1997. In 2000, he was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Speaker’s Advisory Group on Russia, established by the Republican Policy Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Saunders has written extensively for major newspapers and journals, and is a frequent commentator in national media. He is the author of Energy Technology in an Era of Great Power Competition, Land Use Requirements of Solar and Wind Power: Understanding a Decade of Academic Research, Toward an Indo-Pacific Clean Energy Framework (with Amelia Gilchrist), Ambitious Mandates, Ambivalent Communities: Land Use Challenges to New York’s Renewable Power Goals, Extended Deterrence in a Changing Asia, Russian Energy and European Security, and Russia and the Greater Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities (with Geoffrey Kemp). He is the editor of various works including A New Direction in U.S.-Russia Relations? America’s Challenges & Opportunities in Dealing with Russia; Costs of a New Cold War: The U.S.-Russia Confrontation over Ukraine and Enduring Rivalry: American and Russian Perspectives on the Former Soviet Space.