Akbota Karibayeva is currently the Programs Manager at the Caspian Policy Center. She graduated with honors from the University of Chicago’s MA Program in International Relations with a concentration in International Political Economy and Security. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Nazarbayev University in Astana, where she focused on the region of Eurasia. Akbota has served as a research assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, where she supported a project on rhetorical strategies of populist politicians. During her undergraduate studies, she assisted on a research project that aimed at creating a comprehensive database of joint military exercises that Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus participated in to test Kazakhstan’s multi-vector foreign policy in the domain of security. Akbota’s current portfolio covers political regimes, security cooperation, economic development, and energy markets in the Caspian region. In Fall 2020, Akbota will continue her studies pursuing a doctoral degree in Political Science at the George Washington University.