LAWRENCE — Mariya Omelicheva has been named the acting director of the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies at the University of Kansas.
After receiving a doctorate in political science from Purdue University, Omelicheva joined the KU political science department in 2007, where she is currently an associate professor. Her research and teaching interests are in Eurasia (Russia, Central Asia and South Caucasus) where she studies human rights, Islam, security threats, geopolitics and authoritarianism in the region.
She has acquired extensive field research experience in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and her recent book, titled "Counterterrorism Policies in Central Asia," won the 2011 Outstanding Academic Titles of the Year Award by Choice. She has served as the CREES associate director since 2010.
"Stepping into the leadership role at CREES will be a natural move forward for Dr. Omelicheva," said current CREES Director Edith Clowes. "She has done an outstanding job as the associate director. I leave CREES confident that Dr. Omelicheva and the excellent CREES team will continue to do a great job."
Clowes has served as CREES director since 2008. She has accepted a position as the Brown-Forman Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia.