Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Arctic Research Coordination Network: Building a Research Network for Promoting Arctic Urban Sustainability

Participant Bios

Robert Orttung

Associate Research Professor of International Affairs
Assistant Director, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Robert Orttung is president of the Resource Security Institute, Assistant Director of the Institue for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, and a visiting scholar at the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Orttung is a co-editor of the Russian Analytical Digest and the Caucasus Analytical Digest, bi-weekly electronic newsletters that examine political and economic developments in their respective regions. Previously he worked at the Jefferson Institute, American University's Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, the EastWest Institute, and the Open Media Research Institute. He earned a PhD in Political Science from UCLA and a BA from Stanford University.


Nikolay Shiklomanov

Assistant Professor of Geography at the George Washington University

Dr. Nikolay Shiklomanov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the George Washington University. He earned a PhD in Climatology from the University of Delaware, a MS in Physics from St Petersburg University, and a MA in Geography from SUNY Albany. Dr. Nikolay Shiklomanov's areas of expertise are in climate variability and change and the Arctic environment. He is currently working on a grant from the National Science Foundation for long-term observations on the climate-active layer-permafrost system.


Dmitry Streletskiy

Research Scientist at the George Washington University

Dr. Dmitry Streletsky is an Assistant Professor in the Geography Department. Dima’s research interests include cold region climates, permafrost and human-environment interactions in the Arctic. He is originally from Moscow, Russia where he completed his M.S. (2005) in Geography from the Moscow State University working on snow cover, glaciers, and permafrost. Streletskiy obtained his Ph.D. (2010) in Climatology from the Department of Geography at the University of Delaware. Streletskiy is a coauthor of more than 30 peered reviewed publications, environmental assessments and reports, and a contributing author to the annual publications of state of the climate published by American Meteorological Society, NOAA and Roshydromet. He is a Chair of the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost, the terrestrial network operating under umbrella of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), WMO. He serves as a PI/Co-PI on several active NSF grants focusing on various aspects of Arctic regions in changing climatic conditions, from permafrost and hydrology, to Arctic urban sustainability.


Marlene Laruelle

Research Professor of International Affairs at the George Washington University

Marlene Laruelle is a Research Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She is the Director of the Central Asia Program at IERES and a member of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia). Laurelle is a Researcher at EUCAM (Europe-Central Asia Monitoring) in Brussels and an Associate Researcher at Fundacion para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dialogo Exterior (FRIDE) in Madrid. She recieved her PhD from the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures.


Timothy Heleniak

Director at the American Geographical Society

Timothy Heleniak is the director at the American Geographical Society. He currently is the Editor of the journal Polar Geography. He is a human geographer with regional expertise in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union and the Arctic. Dr. Timothy Heleniak was a Research Associate at the University of Maryland. He has worked with the World Bank, the United Nations Childern's Fund, and the US Census Bureau. While at the World Bank, Heleniak was involved with the Northern Restructuring Project which is designed to assist the Russian government with out-migration and restructuring selected regions in Siberia. He received his PhD in Geography from the University of Maryland.

Alexander Pelyasov

Director, Center of Northern and Arctic Economies, Russia

Alexander Pelyasov is the director for the Center for the North and Arctic economy, Council for the Study of Productive Forces, and Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and Russian Academy of Sciences.


Elana Wilson Rowe

Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Adjunct Professor at the University of Nordland, Norway. She is the editor of Russia and the North (2009) and co-editor of The Multilateral Dimension in Russian Foreign Policy (2009, with Stina Torjesen). She is researching factors shaping Russian climate change policy and the connection between international assessment processes and Russian domestic decision-making. She received her PhD in Human Geography from the University of Cambridge.


Dr Aileen A. Espiritu

Director of the Barents Institute

Dr Aileen A. Espiritu is the Director of the Barents Institute effective since 1st March 2010. Aileen has the overall responsibility for the Institute's academic as well as the administrative operations, focusing on the cross-border research and studies, transnational relations, Northern politics, and regional development.








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Professor Sebastien Peyrouse co-authors articlein the November 2015 issue of Eurasian Geography and Economics entitled "Central Asia: the New Silk Road Initiative's Questionable Economic Rationality Rationality."

Professor Robert Orttung to be principal investigator of a multi-disciplinary project "Promoting Urban Sustainability in the Arctic," supported by the National Science Foundation and meant to assess the consequences of human activities in the region across a number of important dimensions.

Professor Robert Orttung featured in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog regarding Russia's media strategy and interviewed by the Institute of Modern Russia on effects of Russia's declining economy.

Professor Cory Welt writes a policy memo for PONARS Eurasia on media freedom and rule of law in Georgia.

Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor Hope Harrison recently interviewed by Deutsche Welle on US-West German relations under Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on entitled "Examining Kazakhstan's Religions Contradiction."

Professor Harris Mylonas reviews Kostis Kornetis' Children of the Dictatorship: Student Resistance, Cultural Politics and the "Long 1960s" in Greece in the American Historical Review.

Professor Oleh Havrylyshyn publishes two articles: one on economic reform in Ukraine, another on transition in Ukraine.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes article with Keith Darden about why - and how - some countries are more linguistically homogenous than others.

Associate Dean Hope M. Harrison writes article on twenty-five years of German unification for the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Professor Eliot Sorel's publication Total Health for All is included in the ceremonial World Mental Health Day Volume to be observed October 10th.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse interviewed about Turkmenistan on the Steppe Dispatches website.

Professor Harris Mylonas reviews Onur Yıldırım's Diplomacy and Displacement: Reconsidering the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations, 1922–1934 in the Journal of Cold War Studies.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse writes article (in Russian) on governments' responses to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Central Asia.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on the perspectives and limits of Chinese-US competition, using Kazakhstan as a case study.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes new article on nation building in Social Science Quarterly.

Professor Harris Mylonas co-authored a post with Akis Georgakellos in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog about upcoming elections in Greece.

Professor Harris Mylonas co-authored a policy memo with Ariel Ahram about the distinction between bounded and unbounded de facto states.

Professor Robert Orttung and Sufian Zhemukhov write an op-ed for the Moscow Times entitled "Why Has Putin Spared Ekho Moskvy?"

Professor Robert Orttung quoted in Bloomberg article about recent Russian actions in Crimea.

Professor Harris Mylonas writes article in Foreign Affairs entitled "The Agreement that could Break Europe: Euroskeptics, Eurocritics, and Life after the Bailout."

Professor Harris Mylonas interviewed by TV2 Africa about Greece's recent 'no' vote.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes an article on Kazakhstan's World Religion Congress for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog.

Professor Robert Orttung writes an article on Russia for Freedom House's annual "Nations in Transit" report.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes a book review of Dan Lainer-Vos's Sinews of the Nation: Constructing Irish and Zionist bonds in the United States (Cambridge: Polity Press,  2013) in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.

Professor Harris Mylonas participates in H-Diplo and International Security Studies Forum roundtable on Adria Lawrence's "Imperial Rule and the Politics of Nationalism: Anti-Colonial Protest in the French Empire." A PDF can be found here (Professor Mylonas's contribution can be found on pages 8 through 12).

Professor Robert Orttung writes op-ed "Why Autocrats Love FIFA?" for the Moscow Times.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes paper entitled "The 'Russian World' : Russia's Soft Power and Geopolitical Imagination."

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes article on Russia's interaction with far-right European groups in the most recent Russian Analytical Digest.

Professor Henry Hale co-authors piece on Russians' opinion of Ukraine in the Washington Post's blog The Monkey Cage.

Professor Marlene Laruelle interviewed by Steppe Dipatches on Central Asian states' relations with Russia and China.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on Central Asian states' management of religion on

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes op-ed entitled "The Power of Soft Power in Kazakhstan" in the Monkey Cage blog of the Washington Post.

Professor Cory Welt is a guest editor (and co-authors the introduction) of a special issue of Problems of Post-Communism on Russian foreign policy.

Alexander Reisenbichler publishes an article on the creation of the Financial Stability Forum in the Review of International Political Economy.

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article "Russia as a 'Divided Nation'" in the journal Problems of Post-Communism (also available on

Professor Kimberly Morgan and Alexander Reisenbichler (a former IERES PhD fellow) publish a chapter entitled "The German Labor Market: No Longer the Sick Man of Europe" in an e-book on the German economy. Other contributters include Peter Hall, Philippe Schmitter, and many others.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article on recent presidential elections in Uzbekistan on

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article on US sanctions on Alexander Dugin in Foreign Affairs.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes article on events in Greece in 2013 in the European Journal of Political Research.

Professors Marlene Laruelle draws attention to Kazakhstan's attitude toward the Eurasian Union and Sebastien Peyrouse analyzes Kyrgyzstan's prospects for accession therein in the most recent edition of the Russian Analytical Digest.

Professor Robert Orttung quoted in an article in Vice News about online tactics used by EU, NATO, and Russia.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes a paper on the mythmaking of Novorossiya (available on

Professor Robert Orttung and two undergraduate IERES students - Elizabeth Nelson and Anthony Livshen - write an article in the Washington Post on how Russia Today operates across different language platforms on Youtube to spread Kremlin messages about Ukraine. 

Professor Eliot Sorel to lead panel on mental health in Bucharest from June 24 to June 27 as part of an international congress integrating primary care, mental care, and public health.

Professor Robert Orttung, together with students from GWU and the University of Chicago, publish an article on Russian television and the Internet.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes an article on youth patriotic clubs in Russia (available on

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article entitled "The Ukrainian Crisis and its Impact on Transforming Russian Nationalism Landscape" in Ukraine and Russia: People, Politics, Propaganda and Perspectives

Professor Cory Welt was quoted by the Voice of America on the implications of Ukraine’s Minsk II cease-fire agreement.

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