Russia: Is the State Taking Over?
An Joint AEI-New Atlantic Initiative Briefing on the YUKOS Affair

November 4, 2003

Panelist Biographies

Leon Aron is a resident scholar and director of Russian studies at AEI. He is the author of the first full-scale scholarly biography of Boris Yeltsin, Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). Since 1998, he has written Russian Outlook, a quarterly essay on economic, political, social, and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet transition, published by AEI. He has contributed numerous essays and articles to newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Times (London), Newsday, the National Interest, Post-Soviet Affairs, and the Times Literary Supplement. A frequent guest of television and radio talk shows, he has commented on Russian affairs for, among others, 60 Minutes, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, CNN International, C-Span, and NPR’s All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation.

Anders Åslund is the director of the Russian and Eurasian Program and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A leading specialist on post-communist economic transformation, especially in Russia and Ukraine, he has served as a senior economic adviser to the governments of Russia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. From 1989 to 1994, he was professor and founding director of the Stockholm Institute of East European Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics. Before that, he served as a Swedish diplomat in Kuwait, Poland, Geneva, Moscow, and Stockholm. He has also been a research scholar at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. A prolific writer, he has authored six books and edited nine. He is a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and an honorary professor of the Kyrgyz National University.

Harley Balzer is associate professor of government and international affairs and an associate faculty member of the Department of History at Georgetown University, where from 1987 to 1991 he served as director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies. During 1993, he served as executive director and chairman of the Board of the International Science Foundation, established by George Soros to disburse $100 million to support basic science in the countries of the former Soviet Union. His research interests include Russian and Soviet social history, science and technology, education, Russian politics, and U.S.-Russian relations. He is on sabbatical during the 2003–04 academic year, completing a book tentatively titled Russia’s Democratic Dilemmas: Population, Putin and Petroleum.

Bruce Jackson is the founder and president of the Project on Transitional Democracies. He is also one of the founders of the U.S. Committee on NATO, a nonprofit corporation formed in 1996 to promote the expansion of NATO and the strengthening of ties between the United States and Europe. From 1993 to 2002, Mr. Jackson was vice president for strategy and planning at Lockheed Martin Corporation. Before that, Mr. Jackson was a strategist in the proprietary trading operations of Lehman Brothers, an investment bank in New York. From 1986 to 1990, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in a variety of policy positions pertaining to nuclear forces, strategic defenses, and arms control. From 1979 to 1990, Mr. Jackson served in the United States Army as a military intelligence officer.

Radek Sikorski is the director of the New Atlantic Initiative at AEI. Before coming to AEI, Mr. Sikorski served as the deputy minister for foreign affairs and the deputy minister for defense in Poland. He was also the secretary for foreign affairs for the Solidarity Party that ruled Poland from 1997 to 2001. In addition to his work in politics and government, Mr. Sikorski has been a roving correspondent for National Review and war correspondent in Afghanistan and Angola. Mr. Sikorski is the author of several books: Dust of the Saints: A Journey to Herat in Time of War; The Polish House: An Intimate History of Poland; and Russia’s Afghan War. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator, the American Spectator, Foreign Affairs, the Economist, and the Observer.

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