Iskander Akylbayev is the Executive Director of the Kazakhstan Council on International Relations (KCIR). He is a senior fellow at the Institute of Diplomacy of the Academy of Public Administration, where he provides training to early and mid-career diplomats. He is also a foreign policy analyst at the national “Qazaqstan” TV channel.

Previously, Mr. Akylbayev worked as a senior fellow at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of Kazakhstan. Currently, he focuses on Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, security, and terrorism in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

In 2018, Mr. Akylbayev was selected as a Rumsfeld Fellow, a mid-career program for young leaders from Central Asia, the Caucasus, Afghanistan and Mongolia. He is a member of Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR). He is also a fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leaders program.

Mr. Akylbayev completed his MA in International Area Studies from the University of Tsukuba (Japan). He speaks Kazakh, Russian, Turkish, English and Japanese.