Our Team


Mariya Pak, PhD – Founder, Project Director 

Mariya is a consultant in international development and water resources management based in the Washington DC metro area. Mariya’s interests in conflict studies, natural resources management, development, and news media inspired her to create the CAW Project. You can learn more about Mariya on LinkedIn.

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Austen Dowell – CAW Research Associate

Austen is a graduate of Dickinson College, where he completed majors in International Studies and Russian.  Austen has developed a passion for cross-cultural engagement after spending significant time living and studying in Eurasia. He is currently serving in the Peace Corps in Ukraine.

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Sidney Balaban – ERA Institute Intern, CAW Research Assistant (2018)

Sidney graduated Bard College with a B.A. in Russian and Eurasian Studies. Sidney is passionate about community building initiatives and regional cooperation in Eurasia. Sidney is also interested in journalism, language, law, environment, and geographic information systems.