615 Crothers Way
A panel with CREEES alumni who have made an impact throughout the world through service.
Michael McFaul (REES 1986)
Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies, Department of Political Science, Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Michael McFaul ('86, MA '86) is the Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in Political Science; and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, all at Stanford University. He was also the Distinguished Mingde Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Center at Peking University from June to August of 2015. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. Michael McFaul is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed his D. Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in 1991. He also served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014). He has authored several books, including most recently the New York Times bestseller, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia. He is currently writing a book on great power relations in the 21st century.
Martin Ryan (REEES 2001)
Deputy Director, US Army Terrorism and Criminal Investigation Unit (TCIU) USACIDC
Martin Ryan joined the US Army Criminal Investigation Command in 2015. While in uniform, Mr. Ryan served in a variety of Army command, staff, joint, interagency and combat arms assignments. He deployed in Operations Desert Storm, and Enduring Freedom. After becoming a Foreign Area Officer (FAO), he graduated from the Stanford Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies program (MA) in 2001. During subsequent assignments he served as an arms control monitor, military attaché, advisor to the US Negotiator for Security Agreements, and Chief for Europe and NATO in Army International Affairs. Mr. Ryan deployed as Chief of Force Generation for the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan before retiring after 25 years in uniform. He currently serves as Deputy Director for a Criminal Investigations unit in Virginia. In addition to Stanford’s CREEES program, Mr. Ryan is a graduate of USMA (BS), the Defense Language Institute (Russian and Ukrainian) and the George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies.
Paul Stronski (REEES 1997)
Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Paul Stronski is a senior fellow in the Carnegie Endowment’s Russia and Eurasia Program, where his research focuses on Russian foreign policy, Central Asia, the South Caucasus and the Balkans. Until January 2015, Stronski served as a senior analyst for Russian domestic politics in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He was director for Russia and Central Asia on the U.S. National Security Council Staff from 2012 to 2014, where he supported the president, the national security advisor, and other senior U.S. officials on the development and coordination of policy toward Russia. Before that, he worked as a State Department analyst on Russia from 2011 to 2012, and on Armenia and Azerbaijan from 2007 to 2010. A former career U.S. foreign service officer, Stronski served in Hong Kong (2005 to 2007) and on the National Security Council (2003 to 2004). Stronski has taught history and security studies at Georgetown, George Mason, George Washington and Stanford universities. He is the author of Tashkent: Forging a Soviet City, 1930-1966 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), which won the 2011 Central Eurasian Studies Society Book Award for History and the Humanities. Since the mid-1990s, he has undertaken extensive research and work experience in Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and China.
Zachary Witlin (REEES 2012)
Senior Analyst, Eurasia Group
Zach Witlin specializes in the political economy and geopolitics of Eurasia, including Russia, Central Asia, and the South Caucasus. He regularly advises on economic policy, prospects for reform, leadership dynamics, and foreign relations within and beyond the post-Soviet space. He also covers technology policy issues in Russia and the region. Prior to joining Eurasia Group, Zach was an Alfa Fellow with Cargill in Moscow. He holds a master's degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies from Stanford University, as well as a bachelor's degree in international relations and political science from Tufts University. He began his post-Soviet career as a Fulbright Research Fellow in Ukraine. Outside of work, he is part of the advisory council for Eurasia Foundation's Young Professionals Network.
Ioanna Zyga (REEES 2011)
Head of Cabinet to Alternate Minister for Home Affairs, Greece
Ioanna Zyga currently serves as Head of Cabinet to Greece's Alternate Minister for Home Affairs. Prior to that, she worked with the EU, where she advised senior political leadership on foreign, security and defense issues pertaining to the trans-Atlantic Community’s strategic interests, with emphasis on EU-NATO relations. She previously worked at NATO’s International Military Staff, Cooperation and Regional Security Division, where she focused on NATO’s relations with the Partnership for Peace Partners. She also worked as a researcher with Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Moscow Center. Mrs. Zyga has been supporting projects for women’s empowerment: she has served on the Steering Committee of the Women In International Security (WIIS) Brussels and is currently the Co-leader of the “Lean In” Chapter in Greece. She holds a Master of Arts in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies from Stanford and a Bachelor of Arts in International and European Economic Studies from the Athens University of Economics.