Andrew Wachtel, President, American University of Central Asia
Nearly twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Central Asia has become a vital frontier in the global economy where the United States, Turkey, Russia, and China are all vying for geopolitical and economic influence.
In a multiethnic and unstable region, Central Asian regimes are fraught with electoral corruption, stifled media, and increased public protests, with few exceptions.
How should we view the dynamics of this region where a complex web of governments, international organizations, multinational companies, and military interests are all competing for resources and strategic access?
What do the present geopolitical and economic trends mean for American interests in the future?
Andrew Wachtel has served as president of American University of Central Asia since 2010.
He also remains professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University, as well as a fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Prior to moving to Bishkek, Wachtel was dean of the Graduate School and director of the Roberta Buffett Institute for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University.
During his tenure at Northwestern, he served in several positions including as director of the Consortium for Southeast European Studies and Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature.
Before his time at Northwestern, Wachtel was a member of the faculty at Stanford University.
Wachtel received an A.B. from Harvard University, and both an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.