Board of Directors
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. He is married with two sons and fluent in Azerbaijani, English and Russian.
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 fromthe American University of Armenia. Her first major is in Sociology from the Yerevan State University.Her hobbies are playing tennis, traveling, reading books and watching movies.
Communication for Development Officer in UNICEF in Uzbekistan since 2010. Have over 16 years of experience in international development, working for various bilateral organizations and UN agencies. Strong background in facilitating training, learning and team building facilities. I am a passion traveler and always aspire to learn new things through visiting places, reading, networking and exploring. I hold BA in English and MA in Journalism. I am also a proud father of an 11-year old son. Also the owner of four dogs and four cats. I aspire to continue my career with UNICEF and plan to become an international staff member to be able to contribute to the children’s well-being in various duty stations around the world.
Nino Kakubava, Georgia
Nino Kakubava has divers experience of working in nonprofit sector and academia. Currently, she holds a position of a Capacity Development Expert/Coordinator at UNDP Georgia. Previously she has been working for various international organizations in expert and managerial capacity including UNDP, UN Women, UN FAO, UNFPA, Save the Children International, John Snow Inc. and others.
Her scope included project management and technical assistance to the Government of Georgia on a number of policy issues, such as public management and governance, regional and local development, service delivery and public private partnerships, citizen participation and gender mainstreaming.
Nino holds a master’s degree in Policy Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK) and is doing her PhD at Tbilisi State University. Nino has been teaching Public Administration course for bachelors and masters students at the Caucasus University and University of Georgia since 2008. She is the author of seven publications including policy papers and research projects.
Dinmukhamed (Dimash) Aisautov, a citizen of Kazakhstan, was born in Northern Kazakhstan on August 3, 1973 he currently resides in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Dimash has graduated from KAZAKH-STATE ACADEMY OF ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION in 1995 receiving MS in CIVIL ENGINEERING degree. He also has graduated from KAZAKH-STATE ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT in 1999 receiving MS in ECONOMICS and EDINBURGH BUSINESS SCHOOL, HERIOT-WATT UNIVERSITY (UK) in 2011 and is a holder of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Dimash has worked in several industries not necessarily correlating with his education with examples being construction industry, oil and gas, public relations, corporate affairs and government relations as well as his private business in the HORECA sector.
Dimash is also the holder of licenses and certificates such as: 1 category (Broker-Dealer) and 2 category (Securities Registrar) issued by National Securities Commission of Kazakhstan.
Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate issued by the Project Management Institute (USA)
His contact details are below:
Mobile phone number: +7 (701) 555 2019
Muzaffar Atamirzaev, Uzbekistan
Muzaffar Atamirzaev is a Founder and CEO of the International Lending Center, microfinance organization, based in Russian Federation. Mr. Atamirzaev was a core CELA staff member from 2008 to 2013 and CELA Network Senior Manager since 2011. For the previous years, he worked in the microfinance field of Uzbekistan, lately as microfinance development adviser for the UNDP/Support to Reform Process in Uzbekistan. Earlier, Mr. Atamirzaev worked on various microfinance programs of international organizations, and at the Social Complex division of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan for several years.
Mr. Atamirzaev obtained his 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 World Bank Institute in Washington DC. In 2005, he studied credit to micro and small enterprises in Arizona State University on a Cochran Fellowship. He is a native of Uzbekistan and an alumnus of CELA 6 class.
Meade Sutterfield is a private equity investor primarily in emerging telecommunications and wireless communications entities. He currently serves as an advisor to Counsel Ventures and Antares Capital, as well as a director on the board of two companies among the 32 in which he is or has been an angel investor.
From 1985-1993 he was concurrently a founder and President of PowerFone, Inc., Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) carrier in the major markets in Michigan and Ohio, and Johnson Communications Corporation SMR carrier in the southeastern United States. These companies were merged into the rollup which created Nextel Communications as a nationwide company. He was previously President of AllianceWall Corporation in 1984 and at Kimberly-Clark, where from 1980-1984 he had held several positions leading to Vice-President and General Manager of the Service and Industrial Division. His initial career was Scientific-Atlanta, where he held a number of sales, marketing, operations and general management positions in Europe and America during his tenure from 1974-1980. Meade’s education includes a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1972 and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University in 1974, both with honors. In 1986, he was the President of the Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta. Meade is a Director of the Atlanta Technology Angels. He is a past Chair of the Alumni Association of the Georgia Institute of Technology and currently serves on the Institute’s Foundation Board, the Research Corporation Board and Capital Campaign Steering Committee, as well as the Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and the Flashpoint Incubator. He is a past Chair of the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) and is the Past Chair of the Global Network Foundation of SIBF. In 2002, he was one of the founders of the Central Eurasian Leadership Academy (CELA) and has participated in all none academies and attended almost every reunion, resulting in travel to every country in the region. He is also involved through SIBF in the Middle East Leadership Academy (MELA) which is beginning a parallel organization to CELA and SIBF for young leaders from the 13 Arabic states in the Levant, Arabian Peninsula and Egypt and has participated in all of those programs. He is married to Susan and they have four married children and seven young grandchildren.
Steven Raab is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The InSource Group which provides a variety of Information Technology services and highly qualified Information Technology professionals to its commercial and federal government clients on a contract basis. As Chairman, CEO and one of the founders of The InSource Group, Mr. Raab is responsible for the current and future performance of the business including the strategic direction, profitability, board management and governance, and ultimately operational excellence. 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 current member of the board of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, past Board Chair and Board member of Dallas Social Venture Partners, board member of Social Venture Partners International and board member of SIBF’s Central Eurasia Leadership Academy (CELA). He is serving as facilitator coordinator for the MELA program.
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 also interested in social innovation, travel, motorcycle riding, hand and shot gun sports (particularly skeet/sporting clays), learning piano, and reading.
Steven is currently pursuing a Masters of International Relations at Southern Methodist University.