Sister Networks

Welcome to Central Eurasia Leadership Alliance

Central Eurasia Leadership Academy (CELA) – a long-term program of training, education, mentoring and networking activities across nine countries, stretching from the Black Sea to western China. The target countries – the states of the southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) together with Afghanistan – encompass some of the most remote terrain and exotic cultures on earth. They comprise a region of enormous geopolitical importance, rich in resources and strategically positioned, yet facing profound challenges in developing their economic potential, and beset with domestic political and social tensions. Underpinning the CELA program is a fresh vision for this Central Eurasian region: fractured, vulnerable and potentially volatile today, yet growing stable and prosperous under the stewardship of a new generation of exceptional individuals. Launched in 2002, CELA is a first-of-its-kind undertaking, administered by the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) through its Global Network Foundation (GNF) to foster the development of Central Eurasia’s leaders of tomorrow. The region’s security and welfare will ultimately depend on their courage and far-sightedness, their cooperation across borders and ability to bridge growing divides. Furthermore, CELA is an initiative to let those leaders communicate their perspectives and insights to their Western counterparts as equals. As the region has assumed global importance, particularly after 11 September 2001, it is apparent that the West has as much to learn as to teach. Through workshops, projects and networking activities, CELA aims to connect emerging leaders in the region with one another and with Western decision makers, while transmitting skills and knowledge to help them make a difference in their societies.[/learn_more] Central Eurasia Leadership Academy (CELA) – a long-term program of training, education, mentoring and networking activities across nine countries, stretching from the Black Sea to western China. The target countries – the states of the southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) together with Afghanistan – encompass some of the most remote terrain and exotic cultures on earth. They comprise a region of enormous geopolitical importance, rich in resources and strategically positioned, yet facing profound challenges in developing their economic potential, and beset with domestic political and social tensions. Underpinning the CELA program is a fresh vision for this Central Eurasian region: fractured, vulnerable and potentially volatile today, yet growing stable and prosperous under the stewardship of a new generation of exceptional individuals.

Launched in 2002, CELA is a first-of-its-kind undertaking, administered by the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) through its Global Network Foundation (GNF) to foster the development of Central Eurasia’s leaders of tomorrow. The region’s security and welfare will ultimately depend on their courage and far-sightedness, their cooperation across borders and ability to bridge growing divides. Furthermore, CELA is an initiative to let those leaders communicate their perspectives and insights to their Western counterparts as equals. As the region has assumed global importance, particularly after 11 September 2001, it is apparent that the West has as much to learn as to teach. Through workshops, projects and networking activities, CELA aims to connect emerging leaders in the region with one another and with Western decision makers, while transmitting skills and knowledge to help them make a difference in their societies.

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Meet Our Facilitators

Clark James Plexico Clark James Plexico Clark Plexico is President of Clark Plexico Consulting, Inc., a firm offering public policy and communications strategy for corporations, non-profits, and individuals; in addition, the company serves as advisor for international education efforts and legislative leadership development. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina the firm works primarily with companies and non-profits helping them clarify their mission, sharpen their message, and achieve their public policy goals. By using political and business skills developed over twenty five years both domestically and internationally, Clark Plexico Consulting, Inc. also works with companies in preparing employees for overseas assignments by training them in understanding cultural differences between doing business in the United States and the companies’ targeted country. The firm is available to work with individuals and companies outside the United States who wish to open a business in North Carolina or other southern states, and need assistance in devising an appropriate public policy/communications strategy for that region. Mr. Plexico serves on many state-wide boards in North Carolina including the World Trade Center NC (Past Chair), Advisory Council to...

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About This Website

This website is a new online communication platform for CELA fellows, SIBF facilitators and sister network-MELA/SEALA/NALA. We hope that it will help you to reconnect with your friends in CELA and become active members of the network. Enjoy a completely refreshed networking experience! The new website is based on a social networking engine that allows all registered fellows have their own page (profile) that they could administer themselves. Each fellow will be able to manage news and photo gallery sections of the website. This fresh website is due to the efforts of Zara Janibekyan, CELA Financial and Fundraising Manager. Under the supervision of Anar Kamalova she produced its first draft. In sum, we believe that the CELA website is not only a worthy showcase of what we do, but of how we do it – pooling our knowledge and resources, reaching across borders, and working together to attain a common...

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Program Description

At the heart of the program is the flagship event of the CELA calendar: the annual 10-day leadership Academy held in July in Istanbul from 2002 to 2016. In 2017 the Academy will take place in American University in Bulgaria, in Blagoevgrad town.  About forty participants, four from each country, are invited annually on the basis of a competitive application process, working in diverse fields of government, business, media, NGOs and civil society. There is an innovative, culturally diverse curriculum taught by almost two dozen multinational faculty and facilitators and a roster of internationally renowned speakers. There are hours of intensive breakout sessions where small groups of participants and facilitators dig into the details of leadership and jointly explore similarities and differences in approaches. The CELA leadership Academy agendas are designed by Faculty Director Bill Starnes (formerly a Partner, Trammell Crow International). While some of the topics covered in the CELA program may appear familiar, the CELA Leadership Academy is unique in the way that these topics are presented and integrated with other elements of the program. As befits...

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Agenda

The curriculum of the summer leadership Academy has been custom-designed to introduce leadership concepts and skills in tune with the societies and cultures of Central Eurasia. CELA is not another one-directional West-lectures-East initiative. At CELA workshops, learning about culturally diverse approaches to leadership is a collaborative effort between instructors and participants. The curriculum – continuously refined and improved with input from participants – is organized around structured teaching units (modules) and case studies that have been specially modeled on Central Eurasian situations. Current modules include: Leadership Styles; Cultural Aspects of Leadership; Interpersonal Relations; Pitfalls in Decision-Making; Team-Building; Conflict Management; and Negotiation Skills. Participants experience an interactive learning environment, where they engage with internationally recognized business innovators, political leaders, and public figures. CELA sessions are not merely “chalk-and-talk”! A key part of the Academy curriculum is the breakout groups. Material may be introduced in structured modules in plenary session, but no module may be said to be complete until its material has been thoroughly discussed and tested by participants in small breakout groups overseen by facilitators. The groups allow participants...

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Programs & Events

Capturing the momentum of the leadership workshops CELA Summits, Reunion and Briefings If the summer leadership workshops are the beginning of the CELA experience, radiating from that core are collaborative activities designed to engage CELA fellows as they are inducted into the larger network. Summits, Reunions and Briefings reinvigorate the network as platforms for face-to-face meetings that serve as an opportunity for CELA members to catch up, exchange insights and develop new collaborations for professional success. Key events are the Summits, bringing together all CELA members to date, and themed smaller reunions and briefings that keep them connected and open to new trends in the region. The initial series of reunions were staged in Istanbul, Turkey (April 2003), Mtskheta, Georgia (May 2004), Almaty, Kazakhstan (October 2004), and Bakuriani, Georgia (2006). CELA members also got together when the program was showcased in 2005 in Astana, Kazakhstan within the framework of the conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). On the initiative of CELA fellows, themed briefings (seminar or study-tour format) have been held in Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan...

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Contact us

Don’t populate!

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About CELA

Don’t populate!

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CELA Gallery

CELA Academy CELA Reunions CELA...

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Mission and Vision

CELA possesses a combination of intellectual, human and material resources Our vision is to be the most trusted and useful professional and social network of leaders in the region. Our mission is to empower leaders who work together with integrity and fun to create value for the network’s members and the region. CELA Approach to Leadership The eightfold path to leadership: eight factors that distinguish CELA’s approach 1. CELA’s commitment to its participants is long-term. It recognizes that leadership training cannot make someone a leader overnight – it is merely the beginning of a process, whose ultimate success can only be gauged after years. 2. CELA’s networking concept is exceptionally broad-based. It seeks to enrich indigenous leaders by introducing them into select global networks to draw on the best worldwide knowledge and support. 3. The CELA Academy is designed for the participants to spend hours together with each other and the 20 facilitators through breakout sessions, exercises and planned, social interaction as well as hundreds of impromptu exchanges over meals [see Box]. This opportunity for young leaders to engage...

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Leadership Academy

Agenda

The curricula of cela academies are changed and improved each year. The cela 10 agenda, delivered in april 2013, is representative of the cela 10 schedule under development.

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The CELA Summer Leadership Workshop

At the heart of the program is the flagship event of the CELA calendar: the annual 11-day leadership Academy held every July in Istanbul. About forty participants, four from each country, are invited annually on the basis of a competitive application process, working in diverse fields of government, business, media, NGOs and civil society. There is an innovative, culturally diverse curriculum taught by almost two dozen multinational faculty and facilitators and a roster of internationally renowned speakers. There are hours of intensive breakout sessions where small groups of participants and facilitators dig into the details of leadership and jointly explore similarities and differences in approaches. Held at Koç University in Istanbul, one of Turkey’s premier institutions of learning, with a campus overlooking the Bosporus and Black Sea, CELA’s leadership Academy assembles a wealth of talent from Central Eurasia that continually inspires enthusiasm and optimism for the region’s future. The CELA leadership Academy agendas are designed by Faculty Director Bill Starnes (formerly a Partner, Trammell Crow International). While some of the topics covered in the CELA program may appear familiar,...

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Benefits

As a young ambitious, successful professional each of us would look for clear benefits from every hour/day/week invested in any educational program or network. It is fair to expect the same from CELA. Here we would like to offer you the summary of all benefits that you will be exposed to if selected as a CELA fellow that were described all across this website: 1.    Academy. An intensive 11-days world class training course on leadership. This course will blow your mind, break all the stereotypes and widen your horizons. The twelve days are full of challenging simulations, group activities, and individual coaching opportunities with successful American businessmen who volunteer their time to share their knowledge and wisdom with you during the whole program with who might become consequently your mentor. After completing this course you will feel that the only limit of your success is your own imagination (go to this link to read the CELA 10’s program) 2.    Access to the network of peers from the whole globe. There is a saying that you are the average of...

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Regional Initiative, Global Network.

By reading this website you have learned a great deal about the CELA network, which is one of four sister networks around the world with over 1000 members. The parent network is the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) in North America, which has just finished its first Leadership Academy, NALA, for mid-career professionals in that region. In 2011 the Middle East Leadership Academy (MELA) was inaugurated in Jordan and has now finished six programs, with about 200 graduate members of that network. In 2014 the first Southeast Asia Leadership Academy (SEALA) was held and a second just completed in Malaysia with about 55 members of the network. So in the four networks there are over 600 mid-career professionals as well as 400 senior professionals in four regions. These networks mix through a combination of events and electronic tools. The Global Network Summit was held in August of 2014, spanning 10 days with sequential meetings in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Nearly 100 members of the CELA network and 60 members of the MELA, SEALA, NALA and SIBF networks attended...

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CELA Network

CELA Network

A NETWORK OF TALENT Many of us have attended workshops that claim to offer “leadership development.” They typically end with a handshake, a certificate and a “farewell” at the end. A follow-on network is always promised, but it rarely materializes. Unfortunately most training programs are an end in themselves. Participants complete the courses and return to their normal routines. They lose much of what they learned, and forget who they learned it with. CELA was created to be different.  In its years of existence CELA has conducted 10 academies, over 25 reunions, briefing and Summit events to continue to educate and connect the network.  In the last year 60 members of sister networks in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and North America have attended the Global Network Summit held in the Caucasus in August 2014.  Additionally, over 50 members of the CELA network have attended events held by these sister networks events in North American and the Middle East The Leadership Academy is a Means, Not a (Dead) End. At CELA, something magical happens. You arrive at the Leadership...

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Apply

Apply for CELA 13 in 2017 The purpose of this application form is to provide us with a first introduction to who you are.  Please use the application form to share your honest and deep insights into your personal/local/regional/global context of leadership. Admission to CELA Leadership Academy is on the basis of a competitive selection process. •    Please fill out this application form •    Send us your CV and any other background material you would like to share with the Selection Committee. The general prerequisites for eligibility are that you are between the ages of 28 and 42, and a citizen of one of the following countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia. After submitting your form, the next step would be for Country Selection Committees to consider your credentials and contact you to arrange an interview. If accepted, further instructions will be provided by CELA staff. The participation fee for 2017 is $2,000. It partially covers your participation in the Academy (accommodation, food, and program) the rest is subsidized by CELA. Participants are...

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Contact Details

 Zara Janibekyan, CELA Financial and Fundraising Manager Email: zarajanibekyan@gmail.com Zara joined the CELA staff (Central Eurasia Leadership Alliance) in June 2011.   Her main responsibilities are: Manage all CELA finances for any events (Academy, Reunion, GNS, Expert Bureau, etc.), Ensure timely income and expense reports; Maintain monthly accounting records, and prepare an annual report; Draft and finalise the events budgets, and annual budget of the organization; Provide financial reports to CELA EC committee and SIBF Executive Director; Assist Board Members and Chair person in the implementation of fundraising strategy; Lead CELA Summer Academies every year in collaboration with CELA Network Manager; Maintain CELA database and relations with CELA member. Zara has graduated from the State Medical University in Yerevan with a specialty in pediatrics before earning a Master in Public Health from the American University of Armenia. She furthered her education in Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland US, and later at the University of Sussex, UK. Since 1997, she has been working at the Jinishian Memorial Foundation as a Health Program Coordinator. In this capacity, she conceived of and undertook the...

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Board of Directors

Fakhri Abbasov Fakhri Abbasov, Azerbaijan   Chairman Fakhri Abbasov is an experienced public and government relations expert with over 15 years of service with different leading public and private institutions in Azerbaijan. Over his professional career Mr. Abbasov has been coordinating major educational projects of Soros Foundation (2000-2002), served as the political and economic adviser and then media specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan (2002-2009). Later, after two and half years with the country’s leading mobile operator as the media specialist, Mr. Abbasov has been independently leading different public and government relations projects. His area of expertise is image building, media affairs and social media outreach in education, project management and hi-tech areas. Originally from the city of Shusha, Fakhri has grown up mainly in Baku. He earned his BA and MA degree with distinction from the Institute of Social Administration and Political Sciences and Public Administration Academy in Baku, Azerbaijan. He majored in the international relations and world politics. Later, Mr. Abbasov also pursued academic research at Baku Slavic University, where he taught for over 2 years....

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Global Network Calendar

  SOUTH EAST ASIA LEADERSHIP ACADEMY 4 Wednesday, January 11, 2017 – Sunday, January 22, 2017 The SEALA Academy is a 10-day immersion in a unique leadership experience, facilitated by business leaders who are seasoned practitioners. It is not a lecture course with a lot of “chalk-and-talk” and theory. It is an interactive learning environment, focusing on practical and instantly usable insights and lessons. Every idea is up for discussion, and every lesson must be tested against experience to prove its worth. You will engage with internationally recognized business innovators, instructors and public figures. At SEALA the focus is on the real-life applications of leadership skills, not classroom theory. MELA Regional Leadership Master Class 8 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia –  March 1 – 12, 2017 This Master Class offers the opportunity to join selected peers in a network of talent drawn from 13 Arab countries. It will assemble some of the region’s most impressive young leaders from the fields of business and civil society for a unique, challenging and intense 10-day leadership program and training experience in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  Visit the...

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Welcome to Central Eurasia Leadership Alliance

The Central Eurasia Leadership Alliance (CELA) is a program of lifetime personal development for outstanding mid-career professionals from the fields of business, education and civil society. CELA draws its membership from the countries of the southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) together with Afghanistan. About 40 new members are selected yearly in a competitive but transparent admissions process in each country. The entry point to CELA is a 10-day intensive Academy in American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) in Blagoevgrad city that begins the education and mentoring journey. Although the facilitators and instructors are distinguished senior business executives who are eager to share their knowledge and experience, you will find that the greatest resource becomes your member classmates at the Academy. After the Academy there is a rich offering of events open to all members and families to continue education, build networks among all members and have fun. Practically everyone involved in CELA is a volunteer, dedicating our time and expertise to its programs and its members. We are a community of leadership peers committed to supporting one another to ensure that our careers are not merely successful, but significant and beneficial to our enterprises, communities and region.
Launched in 2002, CELA was a first-of-its-kind undertaking, developed by the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) through its Global Network Foundation (GNF) to foster the development of Central Eurasia’s leaders of tomorrow. CELA is now governed by a Board of Directors selected from within the membership and a few outside directors . Four hundred successful mid-career leaders have joined the network since the founding. Additionally, sister networks of young leaders have been developed in the Middle East (MELA) and Southeast Asia (SEALA); members of MELA, SEALA and SIBF routinely attend common events with CELA members to build a more robust network.

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The CELA Summer Leadership Workshop

The Cela Summer Leadership SummitAt the heart of the program is the flagship event of the CELA calendar: the annual 11-day leadership Academy held every July in Istanbul. About forty participants, four from each country, are invited annually on the basis of a competitive application process, working in diverse fields of government, business, media, NGOs and civil society. There is an innovative, culturally diverse curriculum taught by almost two dozen multinational faculty and facilitators and a roster of internationally renowned speakers.

Read More »

Benefits

Your connection starts here - CELA

As a young ambitious, successful professional each of us would look for clear benefits from every hour/day/week invested in any educational program or network. It is fair to expect the same from CELA.

Read More »

Regional Initiative, Global Network.

By reading this website you have learned a great deal about the CELA network, which is one of four sister networks around the world with over 1000 members. The parent network is the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) in North America, which has just finished its first Leadership Academy, NALA, for mid-career professionals in that region. In 2011 the Middle East Leadership Academy (MELA) was inaugurated in Jordan and has now finished six programs, with about 200 graduate members of that network. In 2014 the first Southeast Asia Leadership Academy (SEALA) was held and a second just completed in Malaysia with about 55 members of the network. So in the four networks there are over 600 mid-career professionals as well as 400 senior professionals in four regions.

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Flag of Afghanistan Azerbaijan Flag of Georgia Flag of Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan

Afghanistan

Flag of Afghanistan

General Data
Area: 647,500 thousand square kilometers
Population: approximately 32,738,400 (the population of Afghanistan is divided into a wide variety of ethnic groups. Because a systematic census has not been held in the country in decades, exact figures about the size and composition of the various ethnic groups are not available. Therefore most figures are approximations only: Pashtun: 42%, Tajik: 27%, Hazara: 9%, Uzbek: 9%, Aimak: 4%, Turkmen: 3%, Baloch: 2%, Other: 4%)
Capital: Kabul
President: Mr. Hamid Karzai
Official language: Pashto and Dari
Religion: Muslim (99%)

Armenia

General Data
Area: 29.74 thousand square kilometers
Population: 3,222,900 [97,2 % of Armenia’s population are Armenians. Minorities living in Armenia include Yezidis, Russians, Kurds, Assyrians, Greeks, and others.]
Capital: Yerevan
President: Mr. Serzh Sargisyan
Official language: Armenian
Religion: Christian (99%)

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

General Data
Area: 86.6 thousand square kilometers
Population: 9,356,500 (2013 estimate)
Capital: Baku
President: Mr. Ilham Aliyev
Official language: Azerbaijani
Religion: 93% Muslim, 4% Christians, 3% – other religions.

Georgia

Flag of Georgia

General Data
Area: 69,700 thousand square kilometers
Population: 4,469,200 (84% Georgians, 6.5% Azeri, 5.7%, Armenians, 1.5% Russians, 2.5% others)
Capital: Tbilisi
President: Mr. Giorgi Margvelashvili
Official language: Georgian
Religion: Orthodox Christianity (82%)

Kazakhstan

General Data
Area: 2,724,9 sq. km
Population: 16,911,911 (2013 est.)
Capital: Astana
President: Mr. Nursultan Nazarbaev
Official language: Kazakh and Russian
Religion: Three main religions include Muslim 47%; Russian Orthodox 44%; Protestant 2%, other 7%

Kyrgyzstan

Flag of Kyrgyzstan

General Data
Area: 199,900 sq. km
Population: 5,550,239 (2011 est.) 68.9% Kyrgyz, 14.4% Uzbek, 9.1% Russian, 7.6% others.
Capital: Bishkek
President: Almazbek Atambayev
Official language: Kyrgyz and Russian
Religion: The Population of Kyrgyzstan is 75% Muslim, 20% Russian Orthodox and 5% other.

 

Tajikistan

Tajikistan

General Data
Area: 143,100 sq. km
Population: 7,616,000 (2011 estimate) 79.9% Tajik, 15.3% Uzbek, 1.1% Russian, 1.1% Kyrgyz, 2.6% others
Capital: Dushanbe
President: Emomali Rahmon
Official language: Tajik
Religion: 85–90% of the population of Tajikistan is Muslim, mostly Sunni, roughly 4% are Christian, mostly Russian Orthodox, and less than 1% is Jews.

 

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan

General DataArea: 491,210 sq. km
Population: 5,125,693 (2012 estimate)
Capital: Ashgabat
President: Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
Official language: Turkmen
Religion: 89 Muslim, 9% adhere to the Eastern Orthodox Church, and for 2% others.

 

Uzbekistan

General Data
Area: 447,400 sq. km
Population: 29,559,100 (2012 estimate) 80% Uzbek, 5.5% Russian, 5.0% Tajik, 3.0% Kazakh, 2.5% Karakalpak, 1.5% Tatar, 2.5% others.
Capital: Tashkent
President: Islam Karimov
Official language: Uzbek
Religion: 90% Muslim, 6% Christian and 4% others.