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Russia's Presidential Election: What's Really Happening in Moscow?

February 28, 2018
5:30 PM MST - 7:30 PM MST
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Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown
1400 Welton St.
Denver, CO 80202
Venue website

Event Details
5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: 
Networking Reception

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion & Audience Q+A


About the Panelists

Ambassador James F. Collins is an expert on the former Soviet Union, its successor states, and the Middle East. Ambassador Collins was the U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation from 1997 to 2001. Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment, he served as senior adviser at the public law and policy practice group Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP. Before his appointment as ambassador to Russia, he served as ambassador at large and special adviser to the secretary of state for the newly independent states in the mid-1990s and as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Moscow from 1990 to 1993. In addition to three diplomatic postings in Moscow, he also held positions at the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan, and the consulate general in Izmir, Turkey.

Chris Miller, Assistant Professor of International History at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and Eurasia Research Director at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Chris is the author of The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR, which was published in 2016. His second book, Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia will be published in early 2018.He is the author of multiple scholarly articles and book chapters, and also writes regularly for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, The South China Morning PostThe Moscow Times, and others. Chris has previously served as Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale University and as a lecturer at the New Economic School in Moscow. He has also been a fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Academy, and a researcher at the Hoover Institution, the Brookings Institution, and the Carnegie Moscow Center. He received his PhD and MA from Yale University and his BA from Harvard University.

Dr. Sarah Wilson Sokhey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado (Boulder), a Faculty Associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science, and an Associate Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia. Her research focuses on the interplay between politics and economics. In her recently published book, The Political Economy of Pension Policy Reversal in Post-Communist Countries, she examines backtracking on social security reforms in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Her current book project with Israel Marques addresses the puzzling yet persistent popular support for government-provided goods like healthcare, education, and pensions even in countries where the government functions poorly, and draws on experimental, survey, and cross-national data. Dr. Wilson Sokhey’s work has been published in various outlets including Party PoliticsEurope-Asia Studies, and Economics & Politics, and has received support from the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). She has contributed to the Monkey Cage blog at the Washington Post and is a member of the PONARS Eurasia group, a network of over 100 scholars studying the region.

David Szakonyi is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the George Washington University, an Academy Scholar at Harvard University, and a Research Fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia. His research is devoted to understanding how elites translate economic power into political influence and how policies can best be designed to curb corruption. His current work focuses on business people who run for elected office; the value of nepotism in government hiring; the effectiveness of anti corruption campaigns; and factors influencing the survival of autocratic regimes. His main region of focus is the post-Communist world, where he has lived and worked for five years, including time in Moscow, Tbilisi, and northern Tajikistan. His work has been published in the American Political Science Review, World Politics, and Journal of Politics, as well as popular publications such as Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, and the Guardian.