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Caspian Studies Program Overview

The Caspian Studies Program conducts ongoing research and analysis, outreach, and advanced training on Azerbaijan and other republics of the Caspian region.

The research agenda focuses on (i) American national interests in the Caspian Basin; (ii) specific geopolitical realities and trends in the states bordering the Caspian Basin; and (iii) United States political, economic, and security strategy toward the Caspian region. Dr. Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, chairs the Program.

In order to establish a dialogue among policymakers, scholars and practitioners, the Kennedy School has developed a series of outreach activities in the form of programmatic events. These activities are designed to share the outcome of the conducted research, foster an open exchange of views and help to shape informed policy.

The Kennedy School has also conducted executive training programs for Azerbaijani leaders, as well as degree and executive training fellowships. The degree and executive program fellowships are known as the United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) Fellows. The USACC is proud to note that a number of young and highly-skilled Azerbaijanis have been able to benefit from these fellowships and emerge as new leaders of their country.

The USACC contributed $1million to Harvard as seed money to fund the initial three years of the Program. Founding members of the Program include Chevron, Exxon, Mobil and a consortium of Aker Maritime, ETPM and CCC.

Harvard Research Helps Put Caspian Region on the Map

The Caspian Studies Program has produced a number of research products, the most substantial of which is the 1,000-page Caspian Region Sourcebook. This comprehensive collection of primary documents on the Caspian region is the only resource of its kind that documents the history of U.S. and Russian policy toward the region, regional conflicts, energy resources, regional alliances, and specific geopolitical realities. It was lauded by security experts and U.S. officials at the Program's conference on U.S.-Russian Relations.

Since October 2000, the Caspian Studies Program has been issuing its Policy Brief publication series designed to analyze crucial issues relating to the Caspian Region and propose policy recommendations. The first three briefs in the series analyze changes in Russian policy, the structure of regional security, and the importance of Caspian oil, respectively. ("Putin's Caspian Policy" by Carol Saivetz; "Military Cooperation between Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova in the GUUAM Framework" by Tomas Valasek; and "Energy Security: How Valuable is Caspian Oil?" by Lucian Pugliaresi).

The Caspian Studies Program has received positive feedback for its research products from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Security Council, among other bodies.

Diplomats, Scholars, and Business Leaders Share Views on Caspian Issues

Through its Caucasus and Caspian Seminar Series, the Caspian Studies Program has brought area experts, journalists, oil company representatives, and U.S officials to Harvard to share insights, observations and research with the Program's research team, Harvard students and professors, and the broader Harvard and Cambridge communities. Summaries and transcripts of these seminars are made available on the Program's web page: Caspian Studies Program

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