2023 Summer School

Assistant Professor American University of Central Asia Kyrgyzstan

Shirin Tumenbaeva is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the Central European University in Austria and an Assistant Professor at the American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan. Her research interests focus on elections, protests, voting behavior, and democratization in Central Asia. Her most recent publications include a co-authored article on the EU’s democracy promotion and a chapter on Democratization and Transformation in Central Asia. Additionally, Shirin is a consultant for local and international organizations.

Research Assistant Pakistan

Fajeera Asif is a diligent researcher, currently serving as a Research Assistant. Holding an M.Phil. In Political Science from the University of the Punjab, she completed her graduation from Government College University, Lahore, majoring in Political Science while pursuing minors in English Literature and History. Fajeera’s dedication to her field shines through her participation in conferences on climate change and her engagement with topics such as globalization and human trafficking during her undergraduate studies. She exemplifies social consciousness through her voluntary work at SOS Village Lahore, a shelter home for children. Passionate about climate change, she firmly believes that good governance paves the way for a sustainable future.

Research Assistant Nus & Deakin University Indonesia

Muhammad Ahalla Tsauro recently completed Master of Arts from Malay Studies Department, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore. Currently, Tsauro works as a research assistant at NUS and Deakin University focusing on the power and politics of Hadhrami descendants and the rise of populism. He aims to pursue a career as a researcher in Politics and Religion, Political Islam and Indonesian Politics. His recent work has appeared in publications such as Political Studies Review, The Jakarta Post, Fulcrum, Indonesia at Melbourne and the Karyawan.

Political Researcher & Founder of Agora Institute Mongolia

Orgil Dugersuren is a political researcher and founder of Agora Institute. His academic interests in the field are elections, democratic governance, geopolitics, and gender equality. He has various experiences in election observation, book translation (mostly on politics and democracy), policy research, and project management. With the KOICA-funded “Promoting gender equality in public decision-making and women’s empowerment in Mongolia” project, which is being implemented by UNDP, he has played one of the key roles to bring leaders of 10 political parties to sign the “Pledge for equal representation in decision-making”. As a researcher, he also has been served as an expert in the deliberative polling which was conducted in February 2023 to protect the democratic constitution and to improve the parliamentary representation.

He has been served as a consultant in various international organizations such as UNDP, OSCE/ODIHR, EBRD, IOM, The Asia Foundation etc.

Social Activist & Researcher Kyrgyzstan

Nurzada Abdivalieva is a social activist, an incoming researcher, and an influencer. She holds an MA degree in Public Policy from the KDI School in Korea and is preparing to start her MPhil in Political and Economic Sociology at the University of Cambridge.

Academic advisor & Researcher Uzbekistan

Umidakhon Narimanova is an educator, academic advisor, researcher, international marketing consultant and a lifelong learner from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She studied in Britain as the Scholar of the ‘UMID’ (HOPE) Foundation of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In 2020 Umidakhon was awarded to study the Intensive Programme in European Law and Economics by Riga Graduate School of Law under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. A Winner of the IV International Scientific-Practical Conference 2006, The Best Paper Award in Marketing & Corporate Management. Throughout her career Umidakhon has worked in local and international higher education senior management and administration, as well as an associate professor of business studies.

Umidakhon is a certified Microsoft Innovative Educator and certified manager of the Quality Management System based on ISO 9001:2015. She also holds certificates in Marketing, Branding, E-Marketing, Public Management, Lean Management, Cluster Management, Innovation etc. from ECPR/ODIHR OSCE, World Bank, KOICA, JICA, Instituto Italiano per il Commercio Estero, UNDP, UNWTO, British Council, British Embassy, Swiss Education Group etc. In 2016 Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan honoured Umidakhon with certificate of appreciation “Healthy woman – Pride of the Nation” for her merits in the higher education institution for many years. She also received Appreciation Awards in 2014-2017 from “Kamolot” Civic Youth Movement of Uzbekistan for supporting ideas of young entrepreneurs and for contribution in youth development. In 2020 Umidakhon was honoured to be a moderator of Women & Innovation in Public Sector at the Women and Leadership Forum 2020 organised by the Government of United Arab Emirates and Republic of Uzbekistan. The German Corporation of International Cooperation (GIZ) and The Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan awarded her a certificate for co- organising the Training for the Trainers on Cluster & Innovation 2020. In 2022 Umidakhon won a grant from IKI Academy (Georgia) to undertake research in Central Asia.

Human Rights Defender & Lawyer Mongolia

Gandolgor Sainkhuu is a prominent Human Rights Defender and lawyer who has dedicated her career to bolstering Mongolia’s social, economic, and democratic development. With nearly 20 years of experience working with international organizations, governmental institutions, and local NGOs, she has become a leading figure in the fight for democracy in Mongolia. She has experience in grass-roots organizing, project management, stakeholder engagement, program evaluation, and research in the fields of governance, women empowerment, elections, law, and political party development have all contributed to her success in her career.

Gandolgor’s commitment to democracy and human rights has also led her to become a Long-Term Election Observer for the OSCE/ODIHR, where she observes member states’ compliance with OSCE commitments, international standards, and human rights, adhering to the Copenhagen document. Her work with the OSCE/ODIHR has been instrumental in ensuring free and fair elections, including Mongolia, USA, Ukraine, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
In addition to her work with governmental institutions and international organizations, Gandolgor is also the co-founder of Sainkhuu Iveel San, a prominent local NGO in Mongolia that empowers women at the grassroots level. She is also a member of the International Women’s Democratic Union and the Women’s Democracy Network, among other organizations.

Assistant Professor chool of Communication and Business, Telkom University Indonesia

Aqida Nuril Salma is a doctoral candidate at Goethe University Frankfurt, where her work is focused on the intersection of political communication, radical right mobilization, and digital technology. She completed her education in European media studies through the Erasmus program at the University of Salzburg and pursued transdisciplinary studies at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Currently, she holds a fellowship in political economy at George Mason University and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV). Additionally, she serves as an assistant professor at the School of Communication and Business, Telkom University in Indonesia. Salma has presented and discussed sections of her dissertation at prestigious academic conferences and workshops, including ICA, AoIR, APSA, Cornell, KITLV, ISEAS, among others.

Human Rights Advocate & Paralegal Free Legal Assistance Group Philippines

Arvhie Santos is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines with a liberal arts degree in philosophy. Currently, she is pursuing her Juris Doctor degree in the same university. Arvhie is a human rights advocate and a paralegal in the Free Legal Assistance Group – the nation-wide lawyers organization committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and civil liberties in the Philippines. As a researcher, her interest includes politics, philosophy, law, deliberative democracy, and human rights. Further, she works as a Legal Intern in the Office of the Solicitor General of the Republic of the Philippines.

Arvhie is the Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of Philippine Society of Law Students, the Former National Director for Education and Research of Youth for Human Rights and Democracy, and an alumna of Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.

Assistant Lecturer at the Department of International Studies University of Kelaniya
Sri Lanka

K.A. Waruni Kumarasingha is an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of International Studies, University of Kelaniya. Currently pursuing an MSc in Strategic Studies and International Relations from General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University in Sri Lanka, Waruni holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kelaniya, where she graduated with a remarkable 3.93 GPA in 2019. With a background in both academia and research, she has made significant contributions to national security concerns while working as a Research Assistant at the Ministry of Defense and as a Strategic Research Consultant at the Foreign Ministry.

Waruni Kumarasingha’s dedication to humanity and community development is evident through her active engagement and passion for making a positive impact. She has showcased her expertise by publishing a book and several research papers, as well as presenting her ideas at national and international platforms. As a researcher in Human Security and International Relations, Waruni is committed to exploring and addressing the complex challenges of the interconnected world.

Juris Doctor Student Arellano University School of Law Philippines

Arianne Joy C. Fabregas is a Juris Doctor student at Arellano University School of Law and a good governance advocate. Arianne is an alumna of the 2022 and 2023 ASEAN Law Academy, and 2021 Singapore Academy of International Law both conducted by the National University of Singapore Centre for International Law (NUS CIL). She is also a Member of the Teaching and Researching International Law in Asia (TRILA) Group of the NUS CIL. Arianne is also a Co-Director of the Philippine International Law of the Sea (PHILSEA) which aims to provide and bring the law of the sea academic training to Filipino students, elucidating in a structured framework the principles and concepts of international law in the Philippines.

Further, as a good governance advocate, she was able to join the 2022 YSEALI Regional Workshop: Guardians of Good Governance (Civic Education for Good Governance) held in Manila, Philippines. As a YSEALI alumna, she also collaborated and initiated project #SEAReaders (Southeast Asian Reader) with other alumni, serving as Project Secretary to capacitate potential teachers in Timor-Leste and ASEAN. She is also the Director for Legal Training, Exchange, and Development of the Asian Law Students Association – International Board to provide opportunities and equip law students in Asian countries in the legal field.

Human Rights Advocate Advocacy Forum Nepal Nepal

Anupa Aryal is a Human Rights Advocate specializing in the field of Transitional Justice and Women, Peace, and Security in Nepal. She is currently working with Advocacy Forum Nepal on addressing the challenges related to these issues. She holds a Masters’s degree in International Law from South Asian University, New Delhi India.

Program and Research Officer Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) India

Shelly Mahajan is a Program and Research Officer with the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-profit organization working on electoral and political reforms based in New Delhi, India. Currently, she heads the Political Party Watch team at ADR, which analyses the official data on funding and expenditure of all registered political parties in India.

Shelly has a Master’s in Politics (with specialization in International Relations). Her research interests include political parties, political finance, election campaigns, electoral reforms, citizen engagement etc.

MPhil Student University of Oxford Hong Kong

Alvin Lam is an MPhil student at the University of Oxford. Previously, he reported for The Associated Press and Nikkei Asia. He has conducted research under Professor Dariusz Wójcik on the evolution of FinTech and Dr Aliaksandr Herasimenka on conspiracy theories found on social media. His main research interests include the Chinese diaspora, transnational governance, long-distance nationalism, and media. In his free time, he can be seen playing the violin, taking photos and making documentaries, watching football, testing audiophile equipment, and complaining about the prices in his home town of Hong Kong.

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