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Martha Olcott

Martha  Olcott
  • Visiting Professor
  • Faculty
  • Case Hall Room S302
  • 842 Chestnut Rd
  • East Lansing, MI 48825
  • 517-353-8614


Professor Olcott specializes in the problems of development in Central Asia and the Caucasus, which her research has convinced her is the “edge of the heart of Islam, and not its periphery,” as well as its geopolitical context, including Russia, the Middle East, South Asia and China. Her current research priority is creating a digital archive on the collapse of the USSR working with a team of JMC and other MSU students. She is a visiting professor at James Madison College and a professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Colgate University. Appointed to Colgate’s faculty in 1975, she served as chairman of the department of political science from July 1984 through June 1990. Professor Olcott was named by President Clinton to be a Director of the Central Asian American Enterprise Fund and was named Vice Chairman. Earlier she held a formal appointment as Consultant on Central Asian Affairs for former Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. She served as a consultant for a large number of business and law firms with interests in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, and has consulted with a number of governments, and international financial institutions. From 1995-2014, she was a senior associate with the Russia Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and the co-director of the al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan.