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 Zara Janibekyan, CELA Financial and Fundraising Manager


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 challenge of rebuilding the Armenian rural health system.

In 2000, Ms. Janibekyan founded the Open Medical Club (OMC), a Non-Governmental Organization in Armenia. The mission of OMC is to have healthy communities and high quality health care services in Armenia. Its main project, among many, is the “Breast Cancer prevention and Early Detection in Armenia” project implemented from 2007 to 2010.

Zara is a native of Armenia and an alumna of CELA 5.

Foto_Zarina Chekirbaeva

Zarina Chekirbaeva, CELA Network Manager


Zarina is a CELA (Central Eurasia Leadership Alliance) Network Manager since November 2013. Ms. Chekirbaeva was a HR and Administration Consultant at CJSC “Jerooyaltyn”, a gold mining company based in Kyrgyzstan. She oversees eight departments, including legal, HR, CPR, and GR. Prior to joining “Jerooyaltyn” in June 2008, Ms. Chekirbaeva worked as a Public Outreach Coordinator at the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic managing the Ambassador’s public outreach events and promoting exchange programs and grants. For several years Ms. Chekirbaeva worked as a Civic Programming Training Coordinator at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) where she developed and implemented country-wide civic programs (election monitoring, advocacy trainings, parliamentary public hearings and lobby days). Ms. Chekirbaeva holds a BA in Business Administration from the American University of Central Asia (AUCA, 2002) and a MA in Public Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (2006) where she had a full scholarship from the Asian Development Bank. She also received a Freeman Foundation Fellowship to participate in the graduate Asia Pacific Leadership Program at the East-West Center in Hawaii (2006). Ms. Chekirbaeva is President of the AUCA Alumni Council, one of the founders of April Relief Fund, established in 2010 to help the victims of tragic events in Kyrgyzstan.


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. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
Official language: Pashto and Dari
Religion: Muslim (99%)


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%)


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.


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%)


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%


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.



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.



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.



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.

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