Urmat (CELA 14) has been the press secretary of the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic since 2017. She is the youngest woman to hold this office. Urmat has worked in a succession of jobs with increasing responsibility in the areas of internal and external communications, public outreach and community engagement. Her employers were large international development organizations such as USAID, EU and the UN. She worked for the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2011, 2013 & 2015.
In addition, she has been a teaching assistant for Communications Theory and Practice, Public Relations at the American University of Central Asia Urmat graduated from Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in 2011 with a B.A. in International Journalism and Public Relations.
Mr. Ajmal Ayan has served as CEO at Afghan Telecom Corporation. Prior to that, he served as CEO at NETLINKS ltd, VP-Wireline at Afghan Telecom Corporation. This was part of a 15-year career in the ICT sector of Afghanistan, rising from an Aide to the Minister’s office, to Head of R&D to Director General for Planning and Policy, Board Member at Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Prior to working in the ICT sector of Afghanistan, Ajmal worked for 8 years at national and International NGOs in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Ajmal completed his primary and secondary studies in Kabul and Peshawar, Pakistan. He earned his MBA in Leadership and Sustainability from University of Cambria, UK.
Meri Nikoghosyan, CELA 10 Armenia, currently employed as the Executive Director of VISTAA Consulting. During the years of her directorship the company has been distinguished in terms of programmatic achievements and financial performance. VISTAA has been selected as one of the ten Ruban d’Honneur recipients in “The 2010 European Business Awards” which is taking place every year in Paris, France.
Ms Nikoghosyan holds Master’s degree in Political Science from the American University of Armenia. Her first major is in Sociology from the Yerevan State University.
Mr. Emil Gasimli is the Chief of Marketing and Business Development at the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). Prior to his current position, he spent 5 years working in different IT consulting companies as well as for BP, coordinating their IT projects and activities in Azerbaijan.
Mr. Gasimli holds a BA in Finance and Accounting from the State Oil Academy in Baku and Georgia State University, USA, an MBA degrees from the University of Louisiana and the State Economics University in Baku. He has also completed Leadership: Organization and Action program of Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education.
Sherzod Kattakhodjaev is the first Deputy Director of Tashkent city Waste Management Company. He is an owner of different private business companies in construction, energy distribution and automobile services. Sherzod is currently is a Chairman of housing, utilities, communal and innovations commission of the Public Council’s office for Tashkent city municipality. Sherzod actively advocates for Solar, Wind, Hydro, Biogas and Biomass Energy resources with his colleagues from Alternative Energy Club and Green Business Platform. Sherzod has over 15 years of experience in Mechanical and Chemical Engineering with MSc for the Robert Gordon University, Scotland and Engineer Diploma from Tashkent State Technical University.
Natia Zedginidze has 20 years of extensive working experience in business, governmental and non-governmental sector. She has been a Deputy Minister at Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia and Chief of Staff of Committee on Environment at Parliament of Georgia.
Currently she is a CEO at LTD Institute of Quality, Consultant/Trainer in Quality Management Systems and organizational capacity development specialist and manages donor funded projects.
Since 2006 Natia is an Associate Professor, PhD in Economics at different leading universities in Georgia on MBA and PhD degree studies: University of Georgia, Caucasus University, Ilia State University, Black Sea International University, American University for Humanities.
Chingiz Kanapyanov is Non-executive co-chairman of KMGold, one of the largest gold mining companies in Kazakhstan, a board member of Kazakh-British Technical University and a board member of the Economic Research Institute of the Ministry of National Economy of Kazakhstan, a partner of Kazakhstan office of GEC Corporation and Advisor to the CEO of ETS Commodities Exchange. During his carrier in the financial sector, Mr. Kanapyanov was Advisor to the Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, Deputy Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Chairman of the Board of RFCA Rating Agency (National Rating Agency of Kazakhstan).
He holds BA and MA from Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
Ravshan Kurbanov is a Chief Executive Director of one of Tajikistan’s leading business conglomerates – the “55 Group”. He is also a Deputy Director in State Enterprise “Business Incubator” and responsible for implementing the incubating programs.
Currently Ravshan works as a National Consultant on development of entrepreneurship in rural areas for UNDP Tajikistan office. Ravshan helps entrepreneurs to find funds, new network, young talents and new partners outside Tajikistan.
Ravshan holds a PhD in Political Science and continuous his academic research, teaching and work as associated professor in various Universities.
Ravshan Kurbanov participated in US Department of States SABIT Program on development of business incubators and IT Startups in 2018.
Enkhtuya Sharavnyambuu (Tuya)
Enkhtuya is Head of Business Services Department at Transwest Mongolia LLC, a Mongolian leading mining and construction equipment distributor with exclusive KOMATSU dealership rights. Previously, Enkhtuya was one of the management members of leading mining companies in Mongolia, such as Peabody Winsway Resources (USA, China), Polo Resources, LLC (UK) and the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia. Enkhtuya holds a bachelor degree of Engineer in Information Technology from MUST (2000), an MBA from IFE, Mongolia (2010). She also graduated from the advanced management programs at KHRD 2011 (Korea), the SHRM 2012 (USA) 2017 Canada and Sumitomo Management Development Center in Japan 2018.
Muzaffar Atamirzaev is a Partner/CEO of the International Lending Center, based in Moscow. Mr. Atamirzaev was a core CELA staff member from 2008 to 2013. For the previous years, he worked in the microfinance field of Uzbekistan. Earlier, Mr. Atamirzaev worked at the Social Complex division of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan for several years.
Mr. Atamirzaev holds MA in Economics from Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics in Moscow and BA in Economics & Management from the Tashkent Transport Engineering Institute, coupled with research at the WBI in Washington DC. In 2005, he studied lending to SMEs in Arizona State University on a Cochran Fellowship.
Charles Meade Sutterfield
Meade Sutterfield is an angel investor in tech enabled services with 32 investments over three decades. After graduation from Georgia Tech (BEE) and Harvard (MBA) he began a career in technology companies. In 1985 and 1991 he founded two regional wireless carriers which merged into the rollup creating Nextel Communications.
He is active in volunteer leadership at Georgia Tech and is a past Chair of the SIBF and the Global Network Foundation (GNF). In 2002, he was one of the founders of CELA and has participated in the MELA and SEALA programs as well.
He is married to Susan and they have four married children and nine grandchildren.
Steven Raab is the Chairman of The InSource Group which provides a variety of Information Technology services and highly qualified Information Technology professionals to its commercial clients on a contract basis. The Insource Group was a three-time qualifier in the SMU Cox Business School of Business Dallas 100, has received numerous other awards, and previously was recognized as one Texas’ fastest growing Women Owned Businesses.
Mr. Raab began his technical career at IBM, where he held various line and staff management positions in sales and vertical industry markets over a period of 17 years. He also has been the founder and President of his own custom home building company, Executive Vice President of Real Estate and Real Estate Lending for Champion Savings & Loan, and EVP of Real Time Financial Systems, Inc.
He is the past President and member of the board of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, past Board Chair and Board member of Social Venture Partners Dallas, board member of Social Venture Partners International. Steven served as a facilitator at MELA, CELA and SEALA programs.
Steven is keenly interested in geopolitics, international security, and foreign affairs and in that pursuit, he is a member of The Tower Center Forum at SMU, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth and Dallas Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Raab is a Fox Hunter and is also interested in social innovation, travel, hand and shot gun sports (particularly skeet/sporting clays) and reading.
Steven is currently pursuing a Bachelors in International Relations and Political Science at Southern Methodist University.
Any institutional affiliations of CELA board members are provided for information purposes only and do not represent an endorsement by any named organization or entity.