Michigan State University

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JMC Founders Circle Lecture

Monday, October 7, 2019 6:00 pm

Speaker: Roza Otunbayeva, Former Kyrgyzstan President

Location: Kellogg Center, Room Big Ten C

Link: https://2019fallfounderscircle.eventbrite.com


The Challenge of Democracy Building in Newly Independent States

Please join James Madison College on Monday, October 7 as we welcome former President of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Otunbayeva, who will be this year's feature Founders Circle speaker. Please see her full bio at the bottom. 

Hors d'oeuvres will be served at 6:00 pm, with the discussion scheduled to begin at approximately 6:30 pm. 

Parking is available at the Kellogg Center Parking Ramp. The Kellogg Center can be accessed via the second level of the parking deck. Please RSVP HERE or at the link above to receive parking validation.

Questions? Contact Justin Burkett at burket16@msu.edu or 517-353-3381.


The Honorable Roza Otunbayeva is the only female to serve as head of state of the Kyrgyz Republic or anywhere in the Central Asian region, and she is one of only a handful of women who has headed a Soviet successor state.   

Otunbayeva was a prominent supporter of each of the Kyrgyz Republic's two democratic revolutions. She was named Interim President in 2010, and was elected by referendum to a year- long term of office. In 2011 she became the first president of the Kyrgyz Republic (and anywhere in the Central Asian region) to voluntarily leave office at the end of a term.

 Before independence Otunbayeva worked first as a university faculty member, then as a local communist party official, and from there was recruited into diplomatic service by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. She had been appointed the USSR’s Ambassador to Malaysia on the eve of the USSR’s collapse, but she decided to return to her native Kyrgyz Republic and serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position she held on three separate occasions. She also served as the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ambassador to the UK and Ireland, and as their Ambassador to the US. 

Otunbayeva now works to improve the situation of women and children in rural Kyrgyz Republic through the Roza Otunbayeva Foundation. She is also actively engaged with the UNESCAP’s Board of Eminent Advisors. She is also an active member of the Club of Madrid. Otunbayeva is currently touring the US and lecturing on issues of the challenges of Global Economic Development and Social Equity.