Professor Christopher J. Gerry will be joining the University of Central Asia (UCA) from Oxford University, where he has served as Head of Department, Head of Russian and Eurasian Studies and Dean of St Antony’s College, following 3-years at HSE in St. Petersburg and more than a decade at UCL in London. With a background (PhD, MSc, BA) in Economics Chris has developed strong interests in issues of development in the wider European region and has published on inequality, poverty, health economics, social policy, gender and the labour market. Some of Chris’s proudest achievements have been in his development of new and very successful study programmes, including an Erasmus Mundus Masters Consortium and a Bachelors in History, Politics and Economics at UCL; a dual Masters in Comparative Politics at HSE; and – most recently – a Masters in Global and Area Studies at Oxford. He hopes to have a similar impact at UCA’s Graduate School of Development.

The University of Central Asia (UCA) is a part of the Aga Khan Development Network, and their mission is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia region, particularly its mountain societies. The Graduate School of Development is home to multidisciplinary research focused on empowering local academics and communities to come together and tackle the region’s various social, economic, and cultural challenges. This role as Dean will play a vital part in the further development of the Graduate School of Development. The School is aiming to strengthen its research outputs, to cultivate and empower the local talent from the Central Asian republics, and to increase its impact.

Society undertook a global search to identify qualified individuals with a strong passion for, or connection to, the Central Asian region, as well as and understanding of the challenges and opportunities that this role and University are uniquely positioned to offer.

Speaking about his appointment, which he takes up later this year, Professor Gerry said: "I am really excited to be joining the University of Central Asia (UCA) in Bishkek. The vision and ambition behind this project in Central Asia is compelling and the challenge of leading the Graduate School of Development into a new era and contributing to the further growth of UCA is one that I can’t turn down. It’s been quite a journey getting to know UCA during the last year and I am hugely appreciative of the work Society have done – most especially Ksenia and Simon – in helping me navigate the process successfully. Without their professionalism, patience, honesty and good humour the outcome would likely have been different".

Christopher will be moving to Bishkek, capital of the Kyrgyz Republic with his partner and their son, who is especially excited to move to a new environment. We wish all three of them every success in this next chapter.