- Roza KAZAKBAEVA
- Genevieve BALDERSTON
- Akhtar Hassan MALIK
- Meredith BISHOP
- Hamid Ali KHAN
- Zohirbek ASANSHOEV
- Tojiniso OLIMNAZAROVA
- Shams SHARIF
- Stanislav ZAGORODNYEV
- Kholiknazar KUCHAKSHOEV
- Dilyara NARTOVA
- Ramzan ALI
- Azmat HUSSAIN
- Trevor DAVIES
- Alfred SANKOH
- Samat TURDUMAMATOV
- Ian Phil CANLAS
- Laughton BROWNE
- Maqsad SURIEV
- Evangelia PAPOUTSAKI
- Hamid Reza SHAHBAZKIA
- Murodbek LALDJEBAEV
- David RODGERS
- Brahim FEZZANI
- Shabnam LUTAFALI
- Sultonbek AKSAKOLOV
- Rebekah RAMSAY
- Zulfiya BAKHTIBEKOVA
- Kemel TOKTOMUSHEV
- Chorshanbe GHOIBNAZAROV
- Ahmad Ali SHAH
- Rustam MIRZOSHIRINOV
- Ramila MUKAIRSHOEVA
- Askhat MURATZHAN
- Myrza KARIMOV
- Chynara TURATBEK KYZY
- Erik KRAUSS
- Robin HIGGINS
- Samreen Ayaz Ali KALANI
- Shabana MANJI
- Asylbek ABDIKARIMOV
- Davis COOPER
- Bonu HAFIZOVA
- Aigul KANTORO KYZY
- Sheroz NAIMOV
- Saule AITKALIYEVA
- Nana BARAMIDZE
- Professor Roy C. SIDLE
- Roman MOGILEVSKII
- Elmira KÖCHÜMKULOVA
- Dilovar BUTABEKOV
- Pulat SHOZIMOV
- Nurzhan ALBANOV
- Alisha RAJANI
- Parviz ALIDODKHONOV
- Bernadette L DEAN
- Salim SUMAR
- Karim MUNIR
- Raikhan SISSEKENOVA
- Davlatkadam KHUSHKADAMOV
- Khairisho SHONUSAIRIEV
- Nurbek NISHARAPOV
- Bakhytzhan SAMETAYEV
- Asel TURGUNBAEVA
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Asia (UCA). From June 2014 to September 2018, he was responsible for leading the planning, building and operation of the campuses and programmes of the University across all three of its Founding States. Dr Kassim-Lakha has a long association with UCA.
He served as co-chair of the Commission on the Establishment of an International Institution of Higher Education, a distinguished panel of international and regional members who in 1988 developed the concept for the University. In 2000, he was involved in the negotiations of the International Treaty that led to UCA’s establishment by the governments of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan, and His Highness the Aga Khan. In 2014, Dr Kassim-Lakha was appointed Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network to the Kyrgyz Republic.
As Founding President of the Aga Khan University (AKU), the first private university chartered in South Asia, for nearly three decades Dr Kassim-Lakha led the planning, building and operations of this internationally renowned institution established by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1983 with campuses in Pakistan, Eastern Africa and the United Kingdom.
Dr Kassim-Lakha has served in senior positions in the Pakistan government, including as the country’s Minister of Education and as Minister of Science and Technology in the caretaker government in 2007-8. As Minister of State in 2001-2, he led the task force which recommended higher education reforms in Pakistan, resulting in major structural changes in universities and the creation of the Higher Education Commission, of which he was a member from 2007 to 2011. He also chaired the committee which wrote Pakistan’s National Environment Protection Act (1997). The first two decades of his career were with the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development where he served as Managing Director of Industrial Promotion Services of Pakistan, a manufacturing and venture capital company with a work force of 22,000.
Dr Kassim-Lakha is a Senior Distinguished Fellow with the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. Recently he retired as Founding Chair of the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy Board, where he served for fifteen years, and from the international Board of the International Baccalaureate Organisation. Dr Kassim-Lakha has written and published on school and higher education, philanthropy, civil society and management in renowned journals including the Lancet and Nature and has contributed book chapters on these themes.
Dr Kassim-Lakha received his undergraduate education from the South Bank and Westminister Universities, in London and completed his graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, USA.
In recognition of his academic and social work, Dr Kassim-Lakha has received honorary degrees from McMaster University, Canada and the Aga Khan University. His awards for distinguished service include Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Hilal-e-Imtiaz from the President of Pakistan and Officer of the National Order of Merit from the President of France.
Prof. Dr. S. Sohail H. NAQVI
Prof. Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi is the Rector of the University of Central Asia. Prior to joining UCA in August 2018, Dr. Naqvi served as Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences for five years where he had spearheaded the transition of this prestigious, primarily undergraduate, institution into the top ranked research universities of the country.
Dean of the Graduate School of Development
Educated at Bishop’s University, University of Toronto, University of Glasgow, he received a doctorate from the University of Oxford. Until 1991, Dr Bohdan Krawchenko was professor in the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies and director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta. He worked for many years as a consultant to the Secretary of State, Government of Canada, and Ministry of Culture, Province of Alberta.
In 1991, Dr Krawchenko moved to Ukraine to become Director of Policy Studies at the Council of Advisors to the Parliament of Ukraine, and 1992 became founder and director of the Institute of Public Administration and Local Government, Cabinet of Ministers. In 1995 the Institute was re-organised into the Academy of Public Administration, Office of the President of Ukraine and he was appointed vice-rector for academic development and Director of the Centre for the Study of Administration Reform. Dr Krawchenko participated in numerous Ukrainian government committees, task forces and working groups. These include the President’s Council on Social and Economic Affairs, the Policy Unit of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Working Group on the Establishment of the Civil Service, the Working Group on Monetary Reform and the Commission on Administrative Reform. He has also served as a consultant to the World Bank and OECD. He was visiting associate professor at Harvard University, Department of Government, and visiting professor at the College of Europe in Natolin, Poland. In 1995 he received an honourary doctorate from the University of North London, in 1997 was made an honourary professor of the University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’, in 2000 received an honourary doctorate from the Ukrainian Academy of Public Administration, and in 2000 was awarded an Order of Merit from the President of Ukraine. Dr Krawchenko was editor of “Occasional Papers in Public Administration and Public Policy” published by the Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe, and member of international editorial boards of several journals among them Public Management and Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. Dr Krawchenko joined the University of Central Asia in October 2004, where he currently serves as the Dean of the Graduate School of Development.
Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences
Dr Diana Pauna is UCA’s Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. Her academic career spans several areas including diverse university management experience, teaching, curriculum development, project management, scholarly research and editorial work. Prior to joining UCA, Dr Pauna served as Pro-rector of the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) in Riga, Latvia and member of its SSE Riga Management Board.
Chief Operating Officer
Muzaffar Jorubov serves as Chief Operating Officer at UCA. He has over 18 years of experience in administrative and operations management, and has worked with a number of international organisations, including Save the Children, the United Nations Development Programme and the Aga Khan Development Network Representation Office in Tajikistan.
Prior to joining UCA, he served as the Executive Officer of the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe developing and implementing institutional policies, managing operations and programmes, and cultivating and managing relations with its internal and external stakeholders. Earlier in his career, Jorubov worked with educational institutions, including as lecturer with Tajik Technical University, and as a deputy headmaster and teacher at a district centre high school. Jorubov has an MBA from Durham University Business School, United Kingdom and a mechanical engineering degree with honours from Tajik Technical University. He has also participated in numerous professional training courses on administrative management, security management and treasury management.
Chief Financial Officer
Rahim Somani provides leadership and oversight to UCA’s Finance Division. He is also responsible for co-ordinating discussions and negotiations for large-capital project financing. As a member of UCA’s senior executive team, he plays a critical role in the planning and development of a multi-campus university. Over the past two decades, Somani has held senior positions in the education sector.
His has experience in primary, secondary and tertiary education across Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan. His expertise includes finance; strategic and financial planning; project financing; human resource management, systems and MIS; administration; capital projects; corporate affairs; internal audit and programme management. Prior to joining UCA, Somani spent over a decade with the Aga Khan Education Service, Pakistan (AKES, P) as Manager for Humanitarian Assistance Programmes; General Manager for Finance, Planning and Support Services; Company Secretary; Deputy Chief Executive Officer; and Acting CEO. Somani was also part of the Aga Khan University Hospital internal audit team. He completed his CA articleship at A.F. Ferguson & Co., a member firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers. Somani is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA) and a Cost & Management Accountant (CMA) from Pakistan and qualified Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and CA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia, Canada. He holds an MA in Educational Planning, Economics and International Development from the Institute of Education, University College London (formerly University of London). He is also an alumnus of the Institute for Educational Management, Harvard Institutes for Higher Education (IEM Class of 2014) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Director, Advancement and Public Affairs
Nasir Pirani has been associated with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) for decades, and held a similar position at the Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi for 17 years (1978-1996). He was instrumental in setting up the first Resource Development and Public Affairs Department at AKU, and helped raise over $200 million in donations and grants.
Director, Construction and Facilities
Grant Robertson leads the team managing the design and construction of the three UCA campuses. Prior to joining UCA, he was project director with Mace International responsible for a luxury 5-star hotel and residential development, constructed to 4 Seasons standards and specifications. He has extensive experience working in the former USSR, CIS and Eastern European countries, as well as in his home country of Scotland.
Over the 25 years of his professional career, he has worked on projects in 13 countries and earned a well-respected reputation for the successful completion of complex projects in remote areas. Prior to joining UCA, Mr Robertson served as the Regional Director of Emerging Markets in Central and Eastern Europe with Bovis Lend Lease, an internationally renowned property group specializing in project management, construction, real estate investment and development. In that role, he led 13 projects across four countries and built a team to meet the demands of their growing business. Before that, Mr Robertson worked with Philip Morris Engineering, where he was responsible for the design, management, and operationalization of their tobacco plant in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Board Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Chairman
Amaan Pardhan is UCA’s Board Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Chairman. Prior to joining UCA, Pardhan worked as Executive Officer, Office of the Provost at the Aga Khan University. From 2009-11, he served as Programme Support Officer with the Aga Khan Development Network’s (AKDN) Resident Representative’s Office in Tajikistan, working closely with key stakeholders including government, diplomatic and donor communities to promote national and regional development initiatives.
In addition, he served as Secretary to the AKDN Forum comprising of Agency Heads based in Tajikistan. Pardhan has a Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Alberta, a Masters in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and a post-graduate diploma in Islamic Studies and Humanities from the Institute of Ismaili Studies, United Kingdom.
Director, School of Professional and Continuing Education
Dr Gulnara Dzunushalieva supervises all activities and personnel of SPCE in the three countries, including administering the development, coordination, maintenance, and evaluation for the educational programme. She has built support with local communities and international organisations and has ensured quality of activities.Prior to joining UCA, she was Director of Bishkek International School of Management and Business (MBA programme) under Academy of
Management of President of Kyrgyz Republic and Manager of Economy Department of Kyrgyz State National University, ITPS. Dr Dzunushalieva holds an MBA, and a degree in economic science, and is a Certified International Professional Accountant.
Undergraduate School of Arts and Sciences
Associate Professor - English for Academic Purposes, Naryn Campus
Dr Roza Kazakbaeva is an Associate Professor of English for Academic Purposes with UCA’s Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. Kazakbaeva has more than 20 years of experience teaching English as a foreign language. She holds a PhD in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Composition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining UCA, Kazakbaeva taught at the Kazakh Ablai Khan University of International Relations and World Languages, where she developed and taught courses for the departments of linguistics and cross-cultural communications. She is trained in teaching and curriculum methodology by Seneca College, Canada. Kazakbaeva is on study leave for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Assistant Professor in English for Academic Purposes, Khorog Campus
Dr Genevieve Balderston is an Assistant Professor of English for Academic Purposes with UCA’s Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. Balderston has 15 years of experience in US and international language education as an ESL teacher, programme coordinator, communications instructor, teacher trainer, and curriculum consultant.
Akhtar Hassan MALIK
Assistant Professor in English for Academic Purposes, Naryn Campus
Dr Akhtar Hassan Malik is an Assistant Professor of English for Academic Purposes with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. Before joining UCA, he taught at distinguished educational institutions in America, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Sultanate of Oman. He has extensive experience teaching English as a foreign language at foundation, undergraduate and graduate levels of study.
Senior Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes, Khorog Campus
Meredith Bishop is a Senior Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining UCA, Bishop has taught in private and public institutions, universities and colleges in Canada, France, Greece, Japan, and the Arabian Gulf. She has extensive experience teaching English as a foreign language adult learners (Levels A1 to C2 Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
Hamid Ali KHAN
Senior Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes, Naryn Campus
Hamid Ali Khan is a Senior Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes with UCA’s Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. Khan has more than 15 years of English language teaching experience. Prior to joining UCA, he lectured at the Royal Commission Yanbu Colleges & Institutes (RCYCI) in Saudi Arabia. There, he taught a range of general, academic, occupational and technical English courses to foundation and undergraduate students.
Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes, Naryn Campus
Zohirbek Asanshoev is a Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. He comes to UCA with 10 years of English language teaching experience. Prior to joining UCA, Asanshoev worked as an English Instructor and Resources Development Coordinator at the Khorog English Preparatory Programme.
Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes, Khorog Campus
Tojiniso Olimnazarova is a Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes with UCA’s Undergraduate Preparatory Programme at the Khorog Campus. Olimnazarova brings 18 years of English language teaching experience to UCA. Before joining UCA, she lectured in Discourse Analysis at the Khorog State University. She was also Academic English instructor and Curriculum Development and Assessment Coordinator with the Khorog English and Preparatory Programme.
Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes, Khorog Campus
Shams Sharif is a Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes with UCA’s Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. Previously he held the position of Document Controller/Translator for UCA’s Construction and Facilities Division in Khorog. Before joining UCA, Sharif worked as an Instructor of Academic English and Director of Studies at the Khorog English and Preparatory Programme.
Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes, Naryn Campus
Stanislav Zagorodnyev is a Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes with UCA's Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. Prior to joining UCA, he worked with students from different levels and cultural backgrounds and brings more than 15 years of teaching experience to UCA. Zagorodnyev worked as an English Instructor and Senior Lecturer at Qafqaz University in Azerbaijan and as an English teacher at Istanbul Akademi Koleji in Turkey.
Associate Professor of Mathematics, Khorog Campus
Dr Kholiknazar Kuchakshoev is an Associate Professor of Mathematics based in the Khorog, Tajikistan campus. He brings over ten years of teaching experience in various higher education roles. Prior to joining UCA, Kuchakshoev worked as a Maths teacher in a gymnasium and as a Math instructor in the UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Associate Professor of Mathematics, Khorog Campus
Dilyara Nartova is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the School of Arts and Sciences of UCA. She brings more than 30 years of teaching experience to UCA. Prior to joining UCA, she gained extensive academic experience at prestigious universities in Kazakhstan such as KIMEP University, Kazakh British Technical University, Kazakh State University and others.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Naryn Campus
Dr. Ramzan Ali is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics with the UCA School of Arts and Sciences. Previously, he was a UCA Central Asian Faculty Development Programme Fellow, Research Associate at Quaid-i-Azam University, PhD and postdoctoral researcher with the Technical University of Dortmund (Germany). He supervised numerous graduate students and taught several courses in mathematics.
He serves on editorial boards and actively reviews for various international scientific journals in applied mathematics and computational science. Dr. Ali’s research interests include computational mathematics, biomathematics, fluid dynamics, non-linear partial differential equations, and material sciences. He has presented at various conferences and published number of research articles on numerical schemes for solutions of non-linear partial differential equations. Specifically, his doctoral research focused on developing a numerically stable scheme for simulation of evolving membrane on surfaces. He holds a PhD in Mathematics from the Technical University of Dortmund (Germany), MSc and MPhil, both in Applied Mathematics from Quaid-i-Azam University (Pakistan), and BSc from the University of the Punjab Lahore (Pakistan). He also holds a BEd from Allama Iqbal Open University (Pakistan) focusing teaching of Physics and Mathematics.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Khorog Campus
Dr Azmat Hussain is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining UCA, Dr Hussain worked as an Assistant Professor in the department of mathematics at Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore Pakistan for two years. He has also been associated with Karakoram International University, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan where he worked as a lecturer of Mathematics in 2010 for one year.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Naryn Campus
Dr Trevor Davies is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining UCA, he taught several courses in the physical and mathematical sciences at various institutions including Lambeth College in the United Kingdom and the Advanced Centre for Petroleum Development in Oman. He also taught at Westminster University in London and was awarded a Teaching Fellowship with University College London.
Lecturer of Mathematics, Naryn Campus
Alfred Sankoh is a Lecturer of Mathematics with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining UCA, he had more than 15 years of experience teaching Mathematics at both High School and College levels. Most recently, Sankoh worked as a Mathematics Educator at the network of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools in Kazakhstan for five years.
Lecturer of Mathematics, Naryn Campus
Samat Turdumamatov is a Lecturer of Mathematics with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. Before joining UCA, he taught General Physics, Electromagnetics for Engineers at International Alatoo University, and later Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics at Silk Road International School in Kyrgyzstan. He also was a Teaching Assistant for courses on Calculus, Applied Electromagnetics, Microwave Engineering and Antenna Theory in Turkey.
Ian Phil CANLAS
Senior Lecturer of Science, Naryn Campus
Ian Phil Canlas is a Senior Lecturer of Science with UCA’s Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. Prior to joining UCA, he was a Lecturer at Naval State University, Assistant Professor at Leyte Normal University both in the Philippines, Physics Teacher at Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools in Kazakhstan, Political Assistant at the Senate of the Philippines and Human Resource Officer at Biliran Electric Cooperative, Inc., Philippines.
Lecturer of Science, Naryn Campus
Laughton Browne is a Lecturer of Science with UCA’s Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. He has over three decades of experience teaching students from around the world, making important contributions to curriculum development, coaching several sports and initiating science clubs. Prior to joining UCA, Browne taught secondary level science at the Polk County school in Lake Alfred, Florida and was Head of Academic and Principal at the Surefoot International School (SIS) in Calabar, Nigeria.
Lecturer of Science, Khorog Campus
Maqsad Suriev is a Lecturer of Science with UCA’s Undergraduate Preparatory Programme at the Khorog Campus. He is also a UCA Central Asian Faculty Development Programme (CAFDP) Fellow. Prior to joining UCA, Suriev was a a Research Assistant for seven years with the Research Institute of Chemistry in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Associate Professor of Communications and Media, Naryn Campus
Dr Evangelia Papoutsaki is an Associate Professor of Communications and Media with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. She holds a PhD from Cardiff University in the United Kindgom. She has extensive experience in the Asia Pacific and former Soviet Union regions including her most recent faculty position at Unitec in the Department of Communications in New Zealand.
Hamid Reza SHAHBAZKIA
Associate Professor of Computer Science, Naryn Campus
Dr Hamid Reza Shahbazkia is an Associate Professor of Computer Science with UCA's School of Arts and Sciences. He has been working for more than 20 years in higher education institutes in different countries. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Strasbourg in France. Prior to joining UCA, he managed an Erasmus Mundus project for Iran, Iraq and Yemen from 2008 to 2013.
Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Khorog Campus
Dr Murodbek Laldjebaev is an Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences and Mountain Societies Research Institute. Prior to joining UCA, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, where he obtained his PhD in Natural Resources.
Laldjebaev has held fellowships with UCA’s Central Asian Faculty Development Programme (CAFDP) and Central Asia and Afghanistan Research Fellowship (CAARF), and worked as a Research Associate on undergraduate core curriculum development for UCA. Previously, he also headed curriculum development and programme evaluation for the Institute for Professional Development of teachers in Khorog, consulted the World Bank on pre-service education, and worked as a Senior Specialist with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan. He holds a Master’s in Public Policy degree from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, and a Bachelor’s degree with Distinction in English Language from Khorog State University. He has also completed non-degree courses on education at the University of Saint Thomas, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Upper Canada College. His research and scholarship include energy security, energy poverty, energy sovereignty, water resources management, food sovereignty, and the energy-water-food nexus.
Visiting Faculty in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Khorog Campus
Dr David Rodgers is a Visiting Faculty in Earth and Environmental Sciences and Fulbright Scholar at UCA for the 2018-2019 academic year. A geologist who specialises in tectonics and mountain building, Dr Rodgers has spent three decades as a professor at Idaho State University (ISU), teaching earth history and processes to graduate students, undergraduate majors, and non-majors.
Associate Professor of Economics, Khorog Campus
Dr Brahim Fezzani is an Associate Professor of Economics with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining UCA, he taught several courses in economics, business and entrepreneurship at graduate and undergraduate levels at several universities including the inter alia Lexington Community College, Kentucky and University of Kentucky in the United States, Universite Arabe des Sciences in Tunisia, Academy of Advanced Studies and University of Libya, University of Kurdistan-Hewler in Iraq; Taylor University in Malaysia;
Associate Professor of Economics, Naryn Campus
Dr Shabnam Lutafali is an Associate Professor of Economics with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. She has taught at various universities internationally including McGill University (Canada), University of Houston-Downtown, University of St. Thomas (USA), and others in Japan, South Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Dr Lutafali was Associate Dean at the Prince Mohammad Bin Fahad University in Saudi Arabia.
Assistant Professor of History, Khorog Campus
Dr Sultonbek Aksakolov is an Assistant Professor of History with the UCA School of Arts and Sciences. Previously, he held research positions with the Institute of Humanities in Khorog (Tajikistan), Uppsala University (Sweden), and the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) (UK). Most recently, Dr Aksakolov completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the IIS.
Senior Lecturer of History, Naryn Campus
Rebekah Ramsay is a Senior Lecturer of History with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining UCA, she taught Central Asian history at the undergraduate level, and regularly volunteered teaching English as a Foreign Language. Ramsay has received fellowships from Emory University and the American Councils for International Education.
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Khorog Campus
Dr Zulfiya Bakhtibekova is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Khorog Campus with a joint appointment in the Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI). Dr Bakhtibekova has held fellowships with UCA’s Central Asian Faculty Development Programme (CAFDP) and the Open Society Institute. Prior to joining UCA, she worked at the Aga Khan Foundation as an Education Project Assistant.
Assistant Professor of Political Science, School of Arts and Sciences; Research Fellow to the Institute of Public Policy and Administration
Dr Kemel Toktomushev is a Research Fellow with UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration and an Assistant Professor of Political Science with UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences. Dr Toktomushev has held a fellowship with UCA’s Central Asian Faculty Development Programme (CAFDP).
Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies, School of Arts and Sciences; Research Fellow at UCA’s Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit
Dr Chorshanbe Goibnazarov is an Assistant Professor with UCA's School of Arts and Sciences, and has a joint appointment in the Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit as a Research Fellow. He teaches Cultural Landscapes at the Naryn and Khorog Campuses. He joined UCA in 2016 as a Junior Research Fellow and later was promoted to Research Fellow.
Ahmad Ali SHAH
Associate University Librarian, Naryn Campus
Ahmad Ali Shah is the Associate University Librarian at UCA. He has over 14 years of experience and professional practice specialising as a librarian of reference, collection development and information literacy. Prior to joining UCA, he served as an Associate Librarian with the Aga Khan University (AKU) Faculty of Health Sciences Library. He has also worked with the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation,
Campus Librarian, Khorog Campus
Rustam Mirzoshirinov is UCA’s Khorog Campus Librarian. Previously, he served as UCA’s Patron and Reference Services Librarian at the Naryn Campus. Prior to joining UCA, Mirzoshirinov interned at the Social Sciences Department of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., United States. He has also managed the Aga Khan Humanities Project (AKHP) Information Resource Centre for several years and
Library Coordinator, Khorog Campus
Ramila Mukairshoeva is UCA’s Library Coordinator. Prior to joining UCA, she worked for the Centre for Development and Environment, Pamir Strategy Project in Dushanbe, Tajikistan as an Administrative Assistant. Mukairshoeva has significant years of experience working with UCA in various key administrative and academic roles. She worked for the Aga Khan Humanities Project (AKHP) as an Assistant and Interpreter for the Schools Project and as a Resource Centre Coordinator.
Library Coordinator, Naryn Campus
Askhat Muratzhan is UCA’s Library Coordinator. Prior to joining UCA, Muratzhan worked as a Coordinator and Information Technology Specialist with the S. Orozbakov Naryn Oblast Library American Corner. Previously, he was an instructor with UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education in Naryn. He taught English language at the Naryn Development and Teaching Centre.
Head of Cooperative Education, School of Arts and Sciences
Myrza Karimov heads the School of Arts and Sciences’ cooperative education programme. He has more than 25 years of experience working in education. Karimov spent over 13 years as Vice-Rector, Dean, Deputy Director and Assistant Professor with the Arabaev Kyrgyz State University and Jusup Balasagyn Kyrgyz National University.
Manager, Student Affairs, Naryn Campus
Erik Krauss manages student life at UCA. He has spent much of his career providing student services in an international context, including at the Emerson College European Centre, Netherlands and at New York University in Florence, Italy. Prior to joining UCA, Krauss was responsible for selecting Central American applicants for the Walton International Scholarship programme at the University of the Ozarks and mentoring them during their studies.
He also served as Dean of Student Development, Brescia University and Director of International Education, Drew University. Krauss holds degrees from the University of Portland, Eastern Washington University and Cornell University.
University Counsellor, Khorog Campus
Robin Higgins is based at UCA’s Khorog campus. Prior to joining UCA, Higgins worked with Canada’s Selkirk College for 12 years, where she provided personal and career counselling as well as course advise. She served as Selkirk’s Trauma Assistance Team coordinator and Status of Women Committee’s Union Representative. Higgins was part of the design team for her provincial Healthy Minds/Healthy Campus project.
Manager, Student Affairs, Khorog Campus
Shabana Manji manages student affairs on the Khorog Campus. She also organises and executes the Connecting to Your Discipline third semester for preparatory programme students at UCA's Naryn and Khorog campuses. With this programme, she has brought many facilitators to UCA – most notably, Ali Velshi, MSNBC Anchor and Business Correspondent for NBC news and MSNBC.
Student Life Advisor, Naryn Campus
Asylbek Abdikarimov holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Kyrgyz National Univeristy. Prior to joining to UCA, Abdikarimov worked in private sector including fast-moving consumer goods retail and e-commerce. He is also a member of the Association of Social Entrepreneurs of Kyrgyzstan where he supports the local start-up ecosystem by promoting youth entrepreneurship and organising business training for youth in the region.
Student Life Advisor, Khorog Campus
Davis Cooper is a Student Life Advisor at UCA’s Khorog Campus. He has been working in the field of youth development and pedagogy since the age of 16. He started his journey as a camp counsellor, a summer occupation which he continues to do in his spare time up to this day. Cooper has also been involved with designing the curriculum for, and teaching children aged 1-6, as well as tutoring students up to the age of 18 in math, English and sciences.
Student Life Advisor, Khorog Campus
Bonu Hafizova holds a Linguistics degree with cum laude honours from the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Prior to joining UCA, Hafizova worked as Executive Director with the Tajik Community Based Tourism Association and ACTED, an international non-governmental organisation. She led the Aga Khan Humanities Project (AKHP) Debate Club in Khorog and was a trainer.
Aigul KANTORO KYZY
Student Life Advisor, Naryn Campus
Aigul Kantoro Kyzy holds a BA (International Relations) from the Kyrgyz Turkish Manas University. Prior to joining UCA, she worked at the Beyond Investment Group. Kantoro was previously a UCA Summer Camp counsellor and has tutored in English. She was an intern with the Red Crescent National Society, the Women Support Centre, and Central Asian Research Centre in Kyrgyzstan.
Student Life Advisor, Khorog Campus
Sheroz Naimov holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism, Tajik language and Literature from the Khorog State University, Tajikistan. Prior to joining UCA, Naimov worked as Coordinator of the American Corner in Khorog and was Director Jahoni Mo, a public organisation. Since 2008, he facilitated at national summer camps and the Global Encounters, an international youth camp.
Director, Human Resources
Saule Aitkaliyeva has joined the University of Central Asia as Director of Human Resources. Aitkaliyeva started her HR career in 2003 with USAID Kazakhstan and Central Asia. She has experience in diverse settings and international companies. Prior to joining UCA, she worked for Globalink Logistics Group, Japan Tobacco International and Hoffmann La-Roche. Aitkaliyeva has extensive experience in the Central Asian Region and was responsible for HR activities in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan for many years.
Nana Baramidze is the University Registrar at the University of Central Asia (UCA). She comes to UCA with over 10 years of experience in academic leadership and governance and teaching. She has held various positions such as Professor, Dean, Head of International and Donor Relations, and Academic Head and Programme Manager. As an executive head of the faculty of the School of Government at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, she was responsible for planning, directing and supervising the School’s academic, conceptual and administrative activities as well as partnerships with international universities.
Professor Roy C. SIDLE
Director, Mountain Societies Research Institute, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences
Professor Roy C. Sidle is the Director of Mountain Societies Research Institute and Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences with UCA's School of Arts and Sciences. Professor Sidle has more than 40 years of research, teaching, outreach and leadership experience in hydrology, earth sciences, environmental science, sustainability, and natural resources management in four continents including North
Associate Director, Institute of Public Policy & Administration
Dr Roman Mogilevskii coordinates the Institute of Public Policy and Administration at UCA. He has extensive experience researching trade policy, public finance, and macroeconomics in Central Asia and Central Europe. He has also participated in the implementation of research, advisory and training programs across the CIS and has published numerous papers on the issues of regional cooperation and economic policy.
Dr Mogilevskii has held advisory positions at a variety of international organizations operating in Central Asia, such as the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Commission. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Center for Social and Economic Research in Kyrgyzstan (CASE-Kyrgyzstan). Dr Mogilevskii holds a Candidate of Sciences degree in Physics and Mathematics from the Institute of Mechanics of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences and a degree in Engineering and Economics from the Frunze Polytechnic Institute.
Head of Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit/ Associate Professor of School of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Elmira Köchümkulova coordinates the Cultural Heritage & Humanities Unit at the University of Central Asia (UCA) and is an Associate Professor of the School of Arts and Sciences. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees with the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Washington and is one of the leading cultural anthropologists in the region.
She has edited books and authored articles on Central Asian music, oral traditions, Islam and nomadic cultures. She has presented extensively at international conferences and lectured on Central Asian Islam, Kyrgyz musical and oral traditions, nomadic life and funeral customs at leading universities and research centres including Harvard University’s Central Asian Studies Group, the University of Chicago’s Central Asian Studies Society and Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. Dr. Köchümkulova’s research focuses on the historical and contemporary significance of traditions and customs in Turkic Central Asia. She is the co-editor of the UCA/Aga Khan Music Initiative textbook Music of Central Asia: An Introduction, contributing several chapters on Kyrgyz oral tradition and music and taught the UCA pilot course based on the textbook. She served as scholarly editor and coordinated the production of a seminal two-volume collection Kyrgyz Küüs: Analysis, Thoughts, and Opinions (in Kyrgyz language), the first scholarly text on Kyrgyz instrumental music authored by Asan Kaybïlda uulu and published by the UCA Cultural Heritage Book Series. Dr. Köchümkulova is currently working on several books on topics ranging from Kyrgyz national identity to Kyrgyz funeral lamentations. She speaks six languages and is an accomplished musician and composer, having performed widely across the United States and Central Asia.
Deputy Director, SPCE Afghanistan & Tajikistan
Dilovar Butabekov is Deputy Director of the School of Professional and Continuing Education with responsibility of Tajikistan and Afghanistan programmes and campus head of Khorog. Butabekov has had a long career with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), having started as a junior staff member in the AKDN office in Khorog, and then progressed to the position of Administration Manager for the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Tajikistan and Director of Administration for AKF, Tajikistan.
Butabekov holds an Executive MBA (with merit) from the Bradford University School of Management, a Diploma in Economics from the School of Entrepreneurship, Ukraine, and a degree in Civil Aviation Engineering from the Kyiv Civil Aviation Engineering Institute.
Acting Head and Faculty Development Programme Manager, Aga Khan Humanities Project
Dr. Pulat Shozimov currently serves as both Acting Head and Faculty Development Programme Manager of UCA’s Aga Khan Humanities Project. As Acting Head, Dr. Shozimov oversees AKHP activities, including curriculum development, Humanities in English classes, faculty development activities, and AKHP’s Resource Centre and public lecture series.
Director of Legal Affairs
Nurzhan Albanov is the Director of Legal Affairs at the University of Central Asia. Prior to joining UCA, Albanov worked as a Senior Associate with Dentons Kazakhstan. He specialises in corporate law, contracts, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, natural resources and other fields of law. His expertise is dedicated to consulting major mining, oil and gas companies and financial organisations on conducting business in both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Deputy Director, Human Resources
Alisha Rajani currently serves as the Deputy Director of Human Resources at the University of Central Asia (UCA), based in Kyrgyzstan. She has also led the academic launch of UCA's School of Arts and Sciences at the University's second campus in Khorog, Tajikistan. She has over 12 years of diverse management experience across a range of sectors including telecommunications, aerospace, retail, travel, non-profit and higher education.
Parviz Alidodkhonov joined the University of Central Asia in 2009. As Head of Administration, he is responsible for procurement, supply processes, travel, transportation, policy and regulations. He oversees the administrative function of the University across all three countries – Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic. Before joining UCA, from 2002 – 2004, Parviz worked for the Aga Khan Foundation,
Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, and with FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance from 2004 – 2005, managing their procurement and logistics. Parviz successfully completed an MBA with the American University of Central Asia in 2015. He also has a BSc in Philology from the Tajik-Russian Slavonic University.
Bernadette L DEAN
Head, Education Improvement Programme
Dr Bernadette L Dean is the Head of the Education Improvement Programme. Prior to joining UCA, she held numerous high-level academic roles in Pakistan, including as Director of the VM Institute for Education in Karachi; Principal of St. Joseph’s College for Women, Karachi; and Principal of Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore. Dr Dean was also Associate Professor, Head of Academic and Student Affairs and Team Leader of the Citizenship Rights and
Director, Academic Development & International Partnerships
Dr Salim Sumar provides overall leadership with regards academic excellence through curriculum and course design, working with renowned international and regional academic institutions, developing partnerships as well as heading UCA’s Central Asian Faculty Development Programme (CAFDP). Dr Sumar has worked in various senior positions in academia and international development across the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East.
Educated in the United Kingdom, he has spent well over two decades in academia in the fields of Food, Nutrition and Public Health. Over this period, he has held various senior academic appointments including full Professor, Chair, Director of Postgraduate Studies, Research Centre and Head of School. In addition, he has supervised a large number of PhD and postdoctoral studies globally, presented and published extensively as well as served on editorial boards of various international academic journals. Dr Sumar has established new teaching and research institutions globally, validated courses and conducted quality audits in teaching and research. He previously worked in global emergency response with various governments, UN agencies and AKDN-FOCUS, serving as its Global Coordinator for Research & Learning.
Government and Public Relations Representative, Kazakhstan
Raikhan Sissekenova has served as UCA’s Government and Public Relations Representative in Kazakhstan since 2009. Prior to that, she was engaged in start-up activities for the University and served as Head of the School of Professional and Continuing Education in Tekeli. Sissekenova brings significant research, programme implementation and legal experience to UCA from various sectors.
She provided scientific support to the Kazakh Health of the Nation programme from 1999 to 2001, participated in national social and demographic surveys from 1999 to 2003, and contributed to the development of several legislative bills. Sissekenova is trained as a medical doctor and has a degree in medical sciences, public health and management. She has also studied social management in Sweden, Germany and the United Kingdom. Sissekenova has published extensively, including articles in scientific publications and three manuals on public health, legal issues and education.
Government and Community Relations Manager, Tajikistan
Dr. Davlatkadam Khushkadamov graduated from the Sadriddin Aini Tajik State Pedagogical University in Dushanbe, with a major in teaching Social Science and History. He holds a Candidate of Sciences in Philosophy. Prior to joining UCA, Dr. Khushkadamov worked as Government Relations Manager with the Aga Khan Development Network, Tajikistan.
Previously, he held different positions with the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and State agencies including; Assistant to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan; First Deputy Governor of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast; Head of Department of Science with the Ministry of Trade and Economy. He was also Deputy Chief Editor of the Tajik Soviet Encyclopedia. Dr. Khushkadamov has written numerous articles and monographs. He is also a member of the International Union of Journalists and a Peace Ambassador.
Manager, SPCE Learning Centre, Dushanbe
Khairisho Shonusairiev oversees and coordinates activies at the SPCE Learning Centre in Dushanbe. These include teaching and learning processes, quality assurance activities and liaising with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Tajikistan. Previously, he served as Principal of the Aga Khan Lyceum, Khorog, and Liaison Officer for the Aga Khan Education Service (AKES) in Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic.
Campus Head, SPCE Naryn
Nurbek Nisharapov serves as Campus Head of the School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) in Naryn. A Naryn native, he graduated from the Toktogul Satylganov School and pursued a Master's in Foreign Languages at Naryn State University. After graduating with honours in 2008, Nisharapov moved to Taiwan to study Applied Linguistics and Academic English at the Yuan Ze University.
Manager, Academic Affairs, SPCE Tekeli
From 2009-2014, Bakhytzhan Sametayev was the Outreach Coordinator for the School of Professional and Continuing Education, Tekeli. In this capacity, he established strong relations with the Damu Entrepreneurship Development Fund in Almaty to support entrepreneurs and businessmen. Prior to joining UCA, he was a civil servant with the Almaty region Finance Department.
He also served as Head of of Information Technology and Internal Auditor. He frequently speaks at regional conferences and lectures on topics such as national support for Initial Public Offerings and support for businesses in small towns. Sametayev holds a Bachelor's degree from the Gorno-Altay State University, Russia and is currently completing his Master's degree in Economics at the Moscow Witte University.
Manager, SPCE Learning Centre, Bishkek
Asel Turgunbaeva joined the University of Central Asia (UCA) in 2011 as Learning Centre Coordinator, Bishkek with the School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE), Kyrgyz Republic. At the Centre, Asel works on implementing several projects ranging from employment skills training for new Bishkek residents, training of civil servants, and preparing students for academic success through the English for Academic Purposes programme.