Akbota Karibayeva is currently a research intern with the Caspian Policy Center’s Caspian Security and Politics Program. She has 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 so-called multi-vector foreign policy in the domain of security cooperation. Akbota is fluent in English and Russian and has working proficiency in Kazakh.