Olga Oliker Joins CSIS

WASHINGTON, August 24, 2015 – The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce that Olga Oliker, one of the world’s leading experts on Russia’s military and security strategy, will join CSIS as a senior advisor and director of its Russia and Eurasia Program.

Ms. Oliker comes to CSIS from the RAND Corporation, where she has been the director of the Center for Russia and Eurasia focused on Russian and post-Soviet foreign and defense policies, U.S. foreign policy, and the evolving European security environment.

“We are very pleased that Olya will be joining us,” said Dr. John Hamre, CSIS president and CEO. “Russia presents a unique challenge to American strategic thinkers today. I expect Olya to be a leading voice in shaping how we understand this new Russia.”

Ms. Oliker will join CSIS in October. She is replacing Dr. Andy Kuchins, who is leaving CSIS to head to Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Dr. Kuchins will maintain an affiliation with CSIS as a non-resident senior fellow.

Dr. Jeff Mankoff is currently serving as acting director, and will assume the role of deputy director and senior fellow under Ms. Oliker.

“CSIS recognizes the need for an integrated, long-term strategic policy framework for Russia, Europe, and Eurasia,” said Heather Conley, senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of CSIS’s Europe program. “We believe that with Ms. Oliker and Dr. Mankoff on staff and working closely with our International Security Program, CSIS has the potential to develop first-rate analysis and innovative solutions to the political, military, and economic challenges posed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

A fluent Russian speaker, Ms. Oliker has published extensively on Russia and the region, as well as on nuclear deterrence, security sector reform, Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iraq. She appears regularly in print and broadcast media. Ms. Oliker holds a B.A. in international studies from Emory University and an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, non-profit organization founded in 1962 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and policy solutions to decision makers.