About Us

ARISC is an American Overseas Research Center, an independent not-for-profit, that supports research in and about Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, both in the South Caucasus and the US. A member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), ARISC offers fellowships, programming and research support. ARISC is an Affiliate Organization of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). An idea initiated during a gathering in Chicago one weekend in 2005, ARISC was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Illinois and secured 501(c)3 status in 2007.

mission statement

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) encourages and supports scholarly study of the South Caucasus states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) across all disciplines of the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences.  Incorporated in 2006, ARISC currently has representatives in Baku, Tbilisi, and Yerevan, who serve to facilitate research and nurture scholarly ties between institutions and individuals.

ARISC’s mission is to promote and encourage American research in the region and to foster intellectual inquiry across boundaries within the South Caucasus as well as between the South Caucasus and its neighbors. The exchange of scholars and scholarly information will be encouraged by ARISC’s support for conferences, fellowships, publications, teaching resources, and other forms of cooperation for use both in the United States and in the host countries where the Institute is located.

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, education, age, income, socio-economic status, or status as a covered veteran..

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Who We Are


Representative for Armenia (Armenia “at” arisc. org)
Ani Apresyan is a political scientist based in Yerevan, Armenia. She had graduated from Yerevan State University in 2003 with Master Degree in International Relations. In 2016-2018 she studied Democracy and Governance in Johan Skyttee Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu, and had graduated with Master of Arts in Social Sciences. She has an extensive experience with several international non-governmental organizations in Armenia in the spheres of strengthening democratic governance processes. She is specialized in electoral systems, administration, and voter education with extensive experience conducting training and consultancy in electoral procedures and voter education, needs assessment and context analysis.

Representative for Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan “at” arisc. org)
Leyla Rustamli holds a BA in International Relations, a Masters degree in Middle East countries and is an expected PhD in IR. Prior to this appointment Ms. Rustamli took the position of an instructor at Baku State University in 2009-2010,  a Country Representative of ARISC throughout May-September 2009 and January-August 2010. Currently she is also working as an instructor at Azerbaijan University of Languages.

Representative for Georgia (Georgia “at” arisc. org)
Diana Lezhava holds a BA degree in Humanities (English Language and Literature) from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, and a MA in International Affairs from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs. Diana’s working experience started in the private sector when she started working as an Assistant to the General Manager at the Georgian local business (2007-2010). In March 2010 she started working at a Tbilisi-based research organization, the Center for Social Sciences, as a Students’ Dean and Director’s Assistant. In 2012 she was the coordinator of the Doctoral Training Unit/Office Manager at CSS, while in 2013 she became the Head of the CSS Doctoral Training Unit. Since 2014 Diana collaborates with the CSS as an Administrative Director. In 2012-2013 she was an Administrator of the Institute for Gender Studies at Tbilisi State University. Diana joined ARISC in March 2014. Diana has vast experience in translating educational and scientific literature. Her research interests comprise: higher education, education policy, post-soviet transformations.

Executive Director (info “at” arisc. org)
Talin Lindsay

Executive Committee

Dr. Maureen Marshall, President
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Stephen Jones, Vice-President
Harvard University

Dr. Lara Fabian, Secretary
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Dr. Elizabeth Fagan, Treasurer
Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Heghnar Watenpaugh, Executive Committee Member
University of California, Davis

Open Positions

Deadline: 05/27/2021

ARISC Internship Opportunity

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) Georgia Branch is looking to fill

Learn More >>
Deadline: 04/21/2021

Position Description: Resident Director in Armenia

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) is looking for a motivated candidate

Learn More >>

Interested in becoming a member?

“More than nine years ago, on January 21, 2006, to be exact, 20 people met
Institutional Members
Arizona State University Brown University Cornell University Harvard University Miami University New York University Princeton
Member Websites
A listing of our members’ academic websites. Members’ Personal Websites Daniel Adler Lori Khatchadourian Ian
Membership Forms
Please note the membership year begins October 1 and ends September 30 regardless of when
Membership Payment Options
Option A Please make check out to The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus or ARISC and send

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