Colin Knox

Position: Professor & Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
Education Background: Ph.D., Public Policy, 1989, Queen’s University, Belfast (UK)

Prior to joining Nazarbayev University, Dr. Knox worked at Ulster University in the United Kingdom where he taught modules (Public Administration and Governance, Research Methods and Contemporary Issues in Public Policy) on the Masters in Public Administration Programme. He also led a team which designed the Professional Doctorate Programme (D.Gov) aimed at senior officials working in the public sector.

Dr. Knox also spent 8 years as a practitioner working in local government in the UK prior to joining academia.


Riccardo Pelizzo

Position: Associate Professor & Vice Dean for Research
Education Background: Ph.D. in Political Science, 2004, The Johns Hopkins University
Research Areas: Political Development, Political Parties, Good Governance, Parliamentary Strengthening, and Anti-corruption

Dr Pelizzo is the Associate Editor of Politics and Policy. He is the recipient of several fellowships, scholarships, competitive grants and awards.  In addition to editing 3 volumes, Dr Pelizzo has authored 7 monographs and more than 50 peer reviewed articles. His studies have appeared or been translated into 11 languages (Arabic, Bahasa, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Kazakh and Vietnamese). In addition to keeping an active research agenda, he has engaged academic and non-academic audiences in 25 countries and has provided expert opinion to constitutional drafters, institutional reformers, and legislatures in developing countries from Africa, Asia and the Pacific region.


Peter Howie

Position: Associate Professor
Education Background: Ph.D., Mineral Economics. 2002, Colorado School of Mines (USA)

Peter’s research interests include energy and development issues in both developed and transition economies. The latter research uses Kazakhstan as a case study. Peter has published several articles including “An Application of a Stated Preference Method to Value Urban Amenities,” “Regional Development in Kazakhstan,” “Electricity Demand in Kazakhstan,” and “Mineral industry demand: The theory in practice.” Dr. Howie received a grant from the Economics Education and Research Consortium, based in Moscow, for his research on “Electricity Demand in Kazakhstan” and has presented his research findings at international conferences in Russia, the Ukraine, USA, and Canada. At Nazarbayev University he is teaching Natural Resource Economics, Public Finance, and Quantitative Methods. 


Omer F. Baris

Position: Assistant Professor
Education Background: Ph.D., Economics. 2012, Georgia State University (USA)

Prior to accepting his present position at Nazarbayev University, Dr. Baris taught at the Public Policy department of the Georgia Institute of Technology and at the Economics department of Georgia State University, both located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He taught graduate and undergraduate level classes including Game Theory, Microeconomic Theory and Microeconomics for Public Policy, Applied Political Economy, and Economics, Philosophy and Public Policy.


Dina Sharipova

Position: Assistant Professor
Education Background: Ph.D. in Political Science from Indian University, 2013

Dr. Sharipova’s research interests include nation and state-building, formal and informal institutions, identity politics, and social capital in Central Asia. Her recent publications include the book “State-building in Kazakhstan: Continuity and Transformation of Informal Institutions” published by Lexington Books in 2018. She also has a number of publications in scholarly journals such as Nationalism and Ethnic PoliticsCentral Asian Survey,  Central Asian Affairs, Nationalities Paper, and others.


Simeon Nanovsky

Position: Post-Doctoral Scholar
Education Background: Ph.D in Economics from the University of Kentucky

Simeon Nanovsky joined the Graduate School of Public Policy as Post-Doctoral Scholar in 2017. Dr. Simeon Nanovsky obtained his Ph.D in Economics from the University of Kentucky. Research interests of Dr. Nanovsky include International Economics; and Macroeconomics. Before joining Nazarbayev University Semion Nanovsky was teaching as Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Florida.


Kanat Abdulla

Position: Post-Doctoral Scholar
Education Background: Ph.D in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Research Area: Human capital, Macroeconomics

Kanat Abdulla joined the Graduate School of Public Policy as Post-Doctoral Scholar in 2019. Dr. Kanat Abdulla has completed the five-year Ph.D. program in Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018. Research interests of Dr. Abdulla include Human capital and Macroeconomics. Before joining Nazarbayev University, Kanat Abdulla worked in the public sector.


Phua Kai Hong

Position: Visiting Professor
Education Background: PhD (LSE), SM, AB cum laude (Harvard) University

Dr. PHUA Kai Hong is a tenured professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, where hegives lectures in global health, health economics and financing, population ageing and social policy. Previously, he was an Associate Professor and Headof Health Care Division, and Head, Health Services Research Unit, at the Department of Community, Occupational & Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore. He graduated with honours cum laude from Harvard University and received graduate degrees from Harvard School of Public Health and the London School of Economics & Political Science.He had worked previously at the Ministry of Health, Singapore, and the Office of Health Systems Management, New York State Department of Health, USA.


Stefanos Xenarios

Position: Associate Professor
Education Background: Ph.D., Environmental Economics, 2007, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Greece)

Stefanos Xenarios has joined the Graduate School of Public Policy in 2018. He is an environmental economist by training with focus on water resources and climate change aspects. He initially acquired a 3-years of postdoctoral experience in India and Ethiopia as a staff member of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Subsequently, Stefanos did research on climate change and agriculture in South Asia, based at the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy (NIBIO), and worked as Head of the Water and Energy Security Unit at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office in Tajikistan. Before joining Nazarbayev University, he was a Senior Researcher in University of Central Asia leading activities on water-energy-food and environment nexus in the region. Xenarios is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Central Asian Journal of Water Research (CAJWR) while he is a committee member of the International Water Association’s Specialist Group on Statistics and Economics.


Zhanibek Arynov

Position: Post-Doctoral Scholar
Education Background: Ph.D., International Relations, 2019, University of St Andrews, UK; MA, International Relations, 2014, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan

Zhanibek Arynov has joined the Graduate School of Public Policy as a Postdoctoral Scholar in July 2019. Dr Arynov received his doctoral degree in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews, UK. His research interests include Central Asian geopolitics and security, EU-Central Asia relations, international identity, image and perception studies. Prior to joining the GSPP, Zhanibek Arynov served as a Senior Expert of the Program of Eurasian Studies, Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), a think-tank based in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan.  


Iftikhar Lodhi

Position: Assistant Professor Education Background: PhD in Public Policy, from LKYSPP, NUS, Singapore

Iftikhar Lodhi Assistant Professor PhD in Public Policy, from LKYSPP, NUS, Singapore Dr. Iftikhar joined GSPP in 2016 as an Assistant Professor. His previous position was Assistant Professor (Tenure- track) at National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia. He is interested in public policy (theory, analysis, and evaluation), quantitative and qualitative Research Methods (Stata), international and comparative public policy, international relations and institutions, energy security and climate change, political and regulatory risk analysis.



October 10 (Thursday) 2019
Introductory session
08:30 - 09:30 Registration
09:30 - 10:30 Opening ceremony
  Remarks by local organizing committee:
  Weng Tat Hui, Dean of the Graduate School of Public Policy, Nazarbayev University;
  Alikhan Baimenov, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Astana Civil Service Hub (ACSH);
10.30 – 11.00 Remarks by key-note speakers:
  Professor Marco Verweij, Professor of Political Science, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany.
11.00 – 11.30 Photo and Coffee break
October 10 (Thursday) 2019
Session 1
11.30 – 13.30 Section 1, Good Governance: causes, costs and consequences
  Section 2, Economic issues in Central Asia
  Section 3, International Water Association meeting (closed event)
13.30 – 14.30 Lunch
Session 2
14.30 – 16.30 Section 4, Anti-Corruption measures and perception of corruption
  Section 5, Identity policy in Kazakhstan
16.30 – 17.00 Coffee-break
Session 3
17.00 – 18.00 Book launch, GSPP, Stefanos Xenarios
  Book launch, ACSH, Colin Knox
18:00 - 21:00 Dinner
October 11 (Friday) 2019
Session 4
10.00 – 12.00 Section 6, Public Service Reforms in the Region: Practices and Lessons Learnt (Part 1, ACSH)
  Section 7, Policy challenges in urban water management
12.00 – 12.30 Coffee-break
12.30 – 14.30 Section 8, Public Service Reforms in the Region: Practices and Lessons Learnt, (Part 2, ACSH)
  Section 9, Development issues in Eurasia
14.30 – 15.30 Lunch
15.30 – 17.30 Panel 10: PhD Students
  Panel 11: PhD Students
17.30 – 18.00 Closing ceremony
  Certificate awarding ceremony
  Invitation to the 2020 GSPP annual conference
  Closing remark of the Local Organizing Committee Chairman
October 12 (Saturday) 2019
Session 1
09:30 – 11:00 Section 1, Water research priorities in 21st century
11.00 – 11.30 Coffee-break
11.30 – 13.00 Section 2, Roundtable discussion
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 18.00 City Tour (optional)