“The elevation of Maia Otarashvili to Eurasia Program Director and Robert Hamilton to Head of Eurasia Research bodes extremely well for the future of this program,” commented FPRI President Carol “Rollie” Flynn. “Both are accomplished scholars and proven leaders, and I fully anticipate that the program will continue to grow and thrive under their very able stewardship.”
Maia Otarashvili brings over 10 years of experience to the role, having been instrumental in the evolution of FPRI’s Eurasia Program since its inception in 2015. During her time as the program’s Deputy Director, the Eurasia Program expanded to include initiatives covering the Baltic states, Black Sea security, Central Asia, European security, and Russia’s political economy. Additionally, Maia spearheaded a variety of projects, including the Bear Market Brief, an edited volume on Russia’s Way of War in Syria, and, most recently, an international crisis management course for Ukrainian students in partnership with George Washington University.
Maia’s research interests include geopolitics and security of the Black Sea-Caucasus region, Russian foreign policy, and the post-Soviet “frozen” conflicts of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria. Maia is a PhD candidate at the War Studies Department at King’s College, London. She holds an M.A. in Globalization, Development and Transition from the University of Westminster in London, with emphasis on post-authoritarian transitions. Learn more about her past projects here.
Robert E. Hamilton
Colonel (Retired) Robert (Bob) Hamilton has played an active role in the Eurasia Program for several years, serving as a Black Sea Fellow since 2017. In a 30-year career in the U.S. Army, spent primarily as an Eurasian Foreign Area Officer, he served overseas in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Germany, Belarus, Qatar, Afghanistan, the Republic of Georgia, Pakistan and Kuwait. Hamilton is the author of numerous articles and reports on conflict and security issues, focusing principally on the former Soviet Union and the Black Sea region. He is a graduate of the German Armed Forces Staff College and the U.S. Army War College and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Russian Studies and a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from the University of Virginia.
“My affiliation with FPRI has been a highlight of my professional life, and I’m thrilled to be taking on this new role,” said Robert Hamilton. “I’ve been impressed by both the quantity and quality of the Eurasia Program’s scholarship and look forward to helping continue this tradition.”
Currently Hamilton is working on a book project on Russo-Chinese relations. The book examines their interaction in regions of the world where both have significant security and economic interests at stake, on the premise that this is likely to yield novel insights on the nature of their relationship. Learn more about his past projects here.