The International Institute has named Russian investigative journalist and scholar Yevgenia Albats as its inaugural International Institute Distinguished Faculty Fellow for 2019-20.
The new position was created by II Director Pauline Jones to demonstrate how a strong area studies background can translate across disciplines and expand career choices following graduation.
The inaugural II Fellow role will be a partnership with the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, an affiliate of the II’s Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia.
Jones said she would like to see future faculty fellows rotate throughout the 17 centers and programs within the International Institute, representing a different world region each year.
She said it recognizes the need for a scholar and practitioner who embodies the three pillars of the II mission — education, engagement and innovation — and also demonstrates the potential of an interdisciplinary education and an interest in international engagement.
“I wanted the person in this position to be an example and a resource for not only our students but also this campus,” Jones said. “Someone who could illustrate by example how much one can accomplish when area studies knowledge is combined with an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the world — and Yevgenia immediately came to mind.”
As part of her yearlong residence, Albats will teach a graduate course in the fall and an undergraduate course in the winter. A lecture, “The Russian Media: 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall,” is also scheduled for Jan. 27, 2020, as part of the CREES 60th anniversary celebration.
“Dr. Albats best embodies the interdisciplinary, global experiences we want our students to have, bringing a strong foundation in area studies and scholarship, as well as an interdisciplinary practice of political science and journalism — plus her own life experiences,” Jones said.
Albats is a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author and radio host. She was the first Soviet journalist to investigate the KGB during the Soviet era, and is the editor-in-chief and CEO of The New Times, a Moscow-based, Russian-language, independent political weekly. Since 2004, she has hosted the radio talk show “Absolute Albats” on the only liberal radio station in Russia, Ekho Moskvy.
The author of several books, including “Bureaucracy: Struggle for Survival,” “The Jewish Question” and “The State Within A State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia-Past, Present, and Future,” Albats has been a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists since its founding in 1996.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Moscow University, and a Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. from Harvard University. She taught at Yale University and Moscow Higher School of Economics, and was a columnist for The Washington Post, Moscow Times, and IZVESTIA.