Chris Miller to Head FPRI’s Eurasia Program; Maia Otarashvili Named Deputy Director

 The Foreign Policy Research Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Miller as director of FPRI’s Eurasia Program, succeeding co-directors Ambassador Adrian Basora and John Haines, who have been named chairs of the program.  Miller had been Research Director of the Eurasia Program. Accompanying these changes is the promotion of Maia Otarashvili from Program Manager of the program to Deputy Director.  Since its inception two years ago, the Eurasia Program has grown into the largest program at FPRI. “All four principals of the program are to be congratulated,” said FPRI President Alan Luxenberg, “along with the 24 scholars affiliated with the program.”

Over the next year, the Eurasia Program will continue to deepen its coverage of the increasingly tense competition roiling the region. There will be special focus on the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, emphasizing how geography, economics, history, and authoritarian politics continue to shape both regions. A series of longer analyses will explore other key trends and events, from Israel-Russia relations to Russia’s role in the 2016 coup attempt in Montenegro. The Program will continue expanding its Russia Political Economy Project, along with the Bear Market Brief, analyzing the linkages between Russia’s economy and its political system. The Program also continues to deepen its focus on Russian policy in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly with regard to North Korea’s nuclear program.  

Miller writes: “I look forward to working with the program’s fellows to deepen this mission in three ways. First, by continuing our tradition of high-quality scholarship applying history and geography to illuminate contemporary trends. Second, by developing new partnerships to expand the reach of our publications. Third, by broadening the impact of our research and publications in the government, the public policy community, and the public sphere more generally. At a time when the Eurasia region is at the center of America’s foreign policy debate, it is more important than ever that public discussion and government decision-making is grounded in the type of historically-minded analysis that Eurasia Program fellows provide.


Next month, Miller’s book Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia is coming out from the University of North Carolina Press.  His first book The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR was described by Niall Ferguson as the best recent book on economic history in an interview in the NY Times.  He is Assistant Professor of International History at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He received his Ph.D. from Yale and his B.A. from Harvard.


Maia Otarashvili is co-editor of FPRI’s 2017 volume Does Democracy Matter? The United States and Global Democracy Support. Her current work examines the post-Soviet conflicts of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria. She holds an M.A. in Globalization, Development and Transition from the University of Westminster in London, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the War Studies Department, King’s College London.




Ambassador Adrian A. Basora was the last U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, and then the first to the Czech Republic, after witnessing Czechoslovakia’s peaceful “Velvet Divorce.” He spearheaded early U.S. support for democracy and market economics in the Czech and Slovak republics. Immediately prior to that, he was Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council as the Iron Curtain fell, and he participated in the design of U.S. policies and programs to encourage democratic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe.  Ambassador Basora holds an MPIA from Princeton University.  He was just elected a trustee of FPRI.



John HainesJohn R. Haines  is Executive Director of FPRI’s Princeton Committee, which features a monthly lecture series. An active investor and entrepreneur, his efforts have focused on fissile material detection technologies for applications in homeland security and national defense. He has written extensively for FPRI on ethnic conflicts in Russia and Eastern Europe, and on nuclear smuggling and terrorism.