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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Oct 2-3, 2021

ATTEND IN PERSON

Jannat Hotel

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

MAIN: IN-PERSON EVENT

Jannat Regency Hotel

21/2 Aaly Tokombayev St, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

 

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JOIN ONLINE WORLDWIDE

Live Stream


C O M I N G   S O O N

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SCREENING LOCATIONS

Dushanbe & Almaty

Tajikistan & Kazakhstan

LIVE-STREAMED FROM BISHKEK

Serena Hotel

14 Rudaki Avenue, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Baganashil Sport and Spa

14 Sanatornaya St, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Regional Alumni Conference 2021 (RAC21) welcomes U.S.-CAEF alumni and industry leaders from Central Asia to take part in the first-of-its-kind hybrid conference! Aimed at cultivating the exchange of experiences and ideas between program alumni, U.S. Embassies, and key business communities in Central Asia, the conference will serve as an impetus to expand regional and international economic cooperation and advance the professional growth of U.S.-CAEF alumni. U.S.-CAEF is grateful for the support from the U.S. Department of State for making this historic moment possible.

Creating a healthy and safe environment for the RAC 21 attendees is our top priority. To maximize the experience and safety of all participants, please follow our COVID-19 attendee safety protocols.

Wear a mask over your nose and mouth.

Stay two meters away from other people.

Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds and use sanitizers.

Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Do not enter the event space if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

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Opening & Closing Remarks

Sonata N. Coulter

Charge d’Affaires | U.S. Embassy

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

Ms. Sonata N. Coulter began her assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek in July 2021, and took up duties as interim Charge d’affaires in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic in September 2021. Immediately prior to this assignment, she served as Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia from September 2018 – June 2021. Ms. Coulter’s other overseas postings include Political/Economic Chief in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Senior Economic Officer in Monrovia, Liberia, as well as earlier assignments in Moscow and Yekaterinburg, Russia. In Washington, she worked as assistant coordinator for the Caucasus in the Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia, covered Iran sanctions in the Economic Bureau’s office of counter-threat finance and sanctions, and served as desk officer for Chad and the Central African Republic in the Office of Central African Affairs. Ms. Coulter is originally from Los Angeles, California. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and French from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University. She speaks Russian and French. Ms. Coulter enjoys exploring the Kyrgyz Republic’s natural beauty, traveling, reading, and spending time with her family. She is married with two children.

Veronica Elkins

Cultural Affairs Officer

U.S. Embassy, Bishkek

Kyrgyz Republic

Ms. Veronica Elkins began her assignment as the Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy Bishkek in August 2021. She previously served as a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, she worked as an administrative assistant at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington, DC, and taught English in France through a teacher exchange program. Ms. Elkins is from Falls Church, Virginia, and holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and French from the University of Virginia.

Margaret Grieve

Vice-Chair | U.S.-CAEF

Board of Directors

Ms. Margaret (Peggy) Grieve is the President of PMG Management, Inc., a private company, responsible for managing the Grieve family office. Before assuming this responsibility in 2012, she had a successful career as a financial services lawyer, most recently serving as Managing Director of Bank of America, N.A., with responsibility for legal services for its global asset and liability management business and strategic planning and acquisitions. Prior to that, she was Managing Director and General Counsel for Barclays Bank PLC’s North American operations. She has lived and practiced in London, Hong Kong, and New York. She serves on the boards of several charitable organizations, the U.S.- Central Asia Education Foundation, the Child Mind Institute, Inc., the American Friends of Turkey, and Landmark Cultural Center.

Paul Hamlin

Program Officer | Bureau for

Development, Democracy

& Innovation | USAID

Mr. Paul Hamlin has over twenty five years’ experience designing and managing economic and financial services development. Since 2019, he has been supporting USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures program including over twelve active grants in Africa and Asia. From 2014 until 2019, he served as a Senior Advisor for Economic Growth at USAID, the Kyrgyz Republic. Previously, Mr. Hamlin had managed customer research initiatives for FINCA International and subsidiary units including large scale quantitative household surveys to measure social performance indicators, customer segmentation and other ad-hoc research initiatives. For two years, he managed FINCA’s 17,000 client micro-credit deposit organization in Tajikistan. From 1998 until 2001, he was Vice President of CAAEF’s Turkmenistan office, managing both debt and equity portfolios.

David P. Patton

President & CEO

of American Councils

Mr. David P. Patton, PhD, became President and CEO of American Councils in August 2019, following his tenure as acting president since March 2019. Previously, Dr. Patton served as an executive vice president, with primary responsibility for the oversight of American Councils’ regional offices, higher education portfolio, and development efforts. In 1993, Dr. Patton joined American Councils to serve as the New Independent States (NIS) regional director in Moscow. He was named the vice president for field operations in 2002, overseeing more than 50 field offices in 15 countries in Europe and Eurasia. Earlier in his career, Dr. Patton served as deputy director of the NIS Exchanges and Training Project, a major USAID-funded program for short-term professional development for NIS citizens. He also worked as the assistant director of The Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies. Dr. Patton also serves as the president of the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. He has studied and worked in the NIS region and Central Europe since 1983. He completed his PhD in Slavic linguistics at The Ohio State University. His dissertation is on analytic development in the modern Russian language. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Russian studies at the University of Oregon.

Olesia Gardner

Country Director

 American Councils

Kyrgyz Republic

Ms. Olesia Gardner’s career focus has been on leading programs that focus on building the capacity of civil society and media to bolster democratic development. After receiving a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the Central European University, Olesia joined American Council’s Washington office to work on civic education programs before moving to positions with the US government– at the U.S. embassies in Tbilisi and Kyiv, and at USAID in Washington– where she received multiple awards for meritorious service. By 2014, Olesia had completed a second master’s degree in Sustainability, Development and Peace from the United Nations University. She enjoys working at the intersection of democracy and technology to identify and track disinformation narratives. Olesia is an alumna of AC’s FLEX program (1996) and became AC’s Country Director in 2020.

Sevara Tadzhibaeva

President | U.S.-CAEF

Alumni Association

Ms. Sevara Tadzhibaeva is the current President of the U.S.-CAEF Alumni Association. Sevara graduated from AUCA in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Prior to her time as a U.S.-CAEF fellow, she participated in the FLEX Program, where she spent one academic year in Clinton, Missouri living with a host family. After committing countless volunteer hours to the U.S.-CAEF alumni community, Sevara was elected as the President of the Alumni Association by her peers. While she has most recently served as the U.S.-CAEF Regional Alumni Conference coordinator, she has implemented various additional projects aimed at boosting alumni engagement during her time as President of the Association. Sevara has supplemented her professional experiences by actively participating in different programs such as the ProKG Leadership Program in 2017 and the AmCham Mentors Club in 2019.

Keynote Speakers

Guest speakers will engage alumni in a broad range of discussions related to business, innovation, professional development, networking, disinformation/ misinformation, and other relevant themes critical to young professionals.

Ramil Mukhoryapov

Co-founder & CEO, Chocofamily Holding

Mr. Ramil Mukhoryapov is CEO & founder of the first online marketplace in Kazakhstan that expanded to become Chocofamily Holding, the country’s leading eCommerce company with ten brands covering services such as online payments, health, travel, and food delivery. The average annual growth rate of the company is about 100%. In 2017, the Chocofamily holding was recognized as the best employer in Central Asia – it received the Grand Prix of the HR Brand of the Year award.

In addition, Mr. Ramil Mukhoryapov is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Kazakhstan, and a trustee of the iQanat educational project.

Daniar Amanaliev

Co-founder, ololo

Mr. Daniar Amanaliev is a prominent Kyrgyz entrepreneur and co-founder of the ololo Group of companies that spearheaded the co-working space movement in Bishkek, Osh, and Issyk-Kul. Skilled in business planning, banking, education, hotel management, and arts & design, Mr. Amanaliev is a recognized leader in the leisure, travel, tourism, and entrepreneurship space. In addition, he is a member of the International Council at Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, co-founder and supervisory board member of KG Analytics Intellectual Fund, and a member of the Governing Board at the Bishkek International School.

Sayasat Nurbek

Founder & CEO, BTS Education

Mr. Sayasat Nurbek is one of the most prominent national-level experts on education and labor market analysis and policies in Kazakhstan. He is a creator of milestone education projects in the region, CEO and Founder of BTS Education, one of the leading EdTech companies in the country. A UNESCO certified Foresight and Future Studies Expert, Mr. Nurbek is a multilingual public figure, speaker, lecturer, and educator with over 1,000 public lectures and talks.

Alyona Koshkina

Program Manager, MediaNet

Ms. Alyona Koshkina currently serves as the head of the Media Literacy Program at the MediaNet International Center for Journalism in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She has been an advocate of incorporating media literacy into school curriculums for many years and serves as the country manager of QLEVER.Asia, an educational gaming platform intended to increase the level of critical thinking skills among youth in Central Asia. An alumna of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in 2018, Alyona also serves as a coordinator for the Azamat Bol information campaign aiming to reframe narratives around non-governmental organizations. Additionally, Alyona is one of the founders of the Eurasian Fact-Checking and Media Literacy Network (EFMN). She also works as a trainer and organizer for courses and workshops on fact-checking, media, and digital literacy for educators, students, journalists, and activists across Kazakhstan.

Rada Islamova

CEO & Founder, Wonder Women Community

Ms. Rada Islamova is the CEO and Co-founder of Wonder Women Community, and a long-time expert in e-commerce, customer service, and professional team building. A champion of women’s empowerment and development, Rada has been a force in the Central Asian business community for several years. From 2010 to 2015, she served as a member of the organizing committee for numerous large-scale events, including the 2014 Universiade in Kazan, the Sochi Olympics in 2014, and other World and European sports championships in Russia. In 2015, she began supervising the ticket program for the EXPO 2017 International Exhibition in Astana, Kazakhstan. Prior to working on Wonder Women Community, Rada also worked at Chocofamily, the largest e-commerce holding in Kazakhstan where she held the position of director of online optics in the country.

Jamilya Imankulova

Co-founder & Co-owner, EcoFarm

Ms. Jamilya Imankulova is a leader in HR and management consulting in Kyrgyzstan and a staunch ambassador of women’s entrepreneurship. In 2003, she founded her own company called El Group Consulting, which helps local and international organizations in the business and nonprofit sectors with recruiting senior management, designing and implementing performance management systems, and developing HR best practices and educational courses.

Jamilya is also a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York, which inspired her to co-found EcoFarm, a chain of organic shops in Bishkek that sell produce from Baitik Village. In addition to providing customers with healthy, organic produce, the shops also support small- and medium-sized farms that focus on agricultural production.

In addition to these ventures, Jamilya conducts classes, speeches, and coaching on how to lead a healthy, nutritious lifestyle. Using these skills, she launched the educational and personal development platform www.liveyourlife.pro in 2020.

Jamilya is also a co-founder and Advisory Board member of the Bishkek International School, a co-founder of Green Alliance KG, and a mentor for Women’s Forum Kurak and Wonder Women Society.

Inspiring keynote speeches
In-depth panel discussions
Live Q&A sessions
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Alumni Panel Groups

To ensure the conference is impactful, alumni will lead panel discussions on topics pertaining to post-graduate education, entrepreneurship, and opportunities in the age of COVID which are relevant to their concerns and interests.

U.S.-CAEF alumni represent some of the most energetic, innovative, and successful young businesspeople in the region. Many now hold key positions as financial managers, investment advisors, marketing professionals, auditors, IT managers, and business consultants at leading companies. Several have launched successful start-up businesses that contribute significantly to the region’s economic health.

U.S.-CAEF alumni represent some of the most energetic, innovative, and successful young businesspeople in the region. Many now hold key positions as financial managers, investment advisors, marketing professionals, auditors, IT managers, and business consultants at leading companies. Several have launched successful start-up businesses that contribute significantly to the region’s economic health.

Expand your opportunities
to make a difference.
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Speaker Panels

Central Asian Alumni Community: Integration & Opportunities

Abai Iliiazov

Alumni Coordinator

U.S. Embassy

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

Aizhamal Dzhanibekova

Head of Alumni

Relations Office

AUCA

Mr. Abai Iliiazov began his professional career as a part-time translator for Molbulak Finance. He later moved to the Middle East to work for the largest chain of supermarkets in Iraq, where he gained extensive experience in sales and customer service. In 2010, he received a job offer from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and spent one year serving as a non-immigrant visa assistant at the Consular Section. Upon returning to his native Kyrgyzstan, he joined the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Center in Bishkek as a Program Assistant. Currently, Abai coordinates alumni-related programs at the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek.

Abai holds a BA in Arabic from Eastern University and a Master of Science in Economics from the Presidential Academy of Public Administration, Kyrgyz Republic. He also studied in Egypt on a one-year scholarship to attend Al Azhar University’s preparatory institute. He is fluent in Arabic, English, Kyrgyz, Russian, and Turkish. Abai is also an alumnus of the FLEX Program, where he spent one year in Gardendale, Alabama with a host family. Outside his professional endeavors, Abai enjoys playing soccer, singing, playing guitar and komuz, and visiting his hometown of Tokmok.

Ms. Aizhamal Dzhanibekova is a project manager with over 10 years of professional experience in the humanitarian and private sectors, including such organizations as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Danish Refugee Council, and ITF – Enhancing Human Security. She has a proven ability to grow a business from scratch and has attracted investments in business development. Currently, Aizhamal works as the Head of the Alumni Relations Office at the American University of Central Asia where she is responsible for implementing comprehensive and diversified activities to promote active alumni endorsement.

Opportunities with Astana International Financial Centre

Timur Onzhanov

First Deputy CEO

Business Connect Ltd.

AIFC

Madina Abdibayeva

Senior Manager

Business Connect Ltd.

AIFC

Mr. Timur Onzhanov currently serves as the First Deputy CEO of Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) Business Connect Ltd. Prior to beginning his current position, he held other roles at the same company where he oversaw international programs, asset management, and private banking. Before joining AIFC Business Connect, he gained extensive banking experience in the corporate and investment division of Deutsche Bank, where he was responsible for providing advisory services and organizing mandates for finance projects around the world, with a particular focus on emerging markets. Earlier in his career, Timur completed several internships in the banking center in Central Asia. He holds a master’s degree in Banking Finance from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, and a BA in Business Administration from the University of Bern.

Ms. Madina Abdibayeva is a Senior Manager at Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) Business Connect Ltd., where she is responsible for overseeing international programs and projects, maintaining multilateral cooperation, and establishing relationships with international partners, governmental bodies, and financial institutions. Before starting at AIFC, she worked in the audit field, serving as a member of the assurance division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers Kazakhstan. Also at PWC, she worked as a methodologist of financial reporting for the private sector. Madina also gained experience in government, having completed internships with the Parliament of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Economy and Trade. With a master’s degree in International Business from the Grenoble Graduate Business School in France and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from KIMEP University, she possesses a wealth of general knowledge and experience in the fields of management, strategic consulting, strategic development, and policy implementation.

Stream RAC21 speakers and alumni panel discussions anytime, anywhere!
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Pre-conference Activities

Embrace the “new normal”
Create long-lasting partnerships
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Idea Pitch

Sponsored by older alumni, IDEA PITCH is a pilot project designed to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit among current fellows and younger alumni. Participants will make business presentations to a panel of alumni-investors. The winners will be announced during the conference.

ALUMNI INVESTORS

Aigerim Almazova

AUCA’16

Aigerim Almazova 

Senior Finance and Administrative Associate,  International Organization for Migration (IOM), Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland

Karimkhon Bukhadurov

KIMEP’17

Karimkhon Bukhadurov

Founder, Ogoz (data analytics and bookkeeping services for businesses), Almaty, Kazakhstan

Aizharkyn Burkanova

AUCA’14

Aizharkyn Burkanova  

Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, perimetr.app, Moscow, Russia

Nargiza Chaikozova

AUCA’11

Nargiza Chaikozova

Freelance Accounting Financial Consulting, Moscow, Russia

Valentina Khomenko

AUCA’15

Valentina Khomenko

Business Development Officer, Lund, Sweden

Maria Tsvetkova

AUCA’11

Maria Tsvetkova

Software Engineer, NDA, the United Arab Emirates

Yelena Vorobey

AUCA’14

Yelena Vorobey

Funding Manager, E.ON, Essen, Germany

Ilhan Yollyyev

KIMEP’16

lhan Yollyyev

Consultant, KPMG, Moscow, Russia

Nargiza Zhakypova

AUCA’12

Nargiza Zhakypova

Co-Founder, IT-RUN & American-European School, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Kalys Zhumakadyr

AUCA’14

Kalys Zhumakadyr

Head of Business Processes Change Implementation and Automation, Tele2, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Sevara Tadzhibaeva

Regional Alumni Conference Coordinator

WhatsApp: +996700198840

stadzhibaeva@americancouncils.org

Regional Alumni Conference 2021 is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by American Councils for International Education.

1

REGISTERED

Sevara Tadzhibaeva

Regional Alumni Conference Coordinator

WhatsApp: +996700198840

stadzhibaeva@americancouncils.org

Regional Alumni Conference 2021 is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by American Councils for International Education.

Sevara Tadzhibaeva

Regional Alumni Conference Coordinator

WhatsApp: +996700198840

stadzhibaeva@americancouncils.org

Regional Alumni Conference 2021 is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by American Councils for International Education.

1

REGISTERED

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