Anna Vass

Anna Vassilieva, Founding Director

Professor Anna Vassilieva is the Russian Studies program head at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies where she has been teaching since 1990. She is the founding director of the Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies. 

Peter Slezkine

Peter Slezkine

Co-director of the Monterey Trialogue

Peter Slezkine is a co-director of the Monterey Trialogue and a postdoctoral fellow at East China Normal University. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2021. He was a predoctoral fellow in the Clements Center at the University of Texas, Austin, the Belfer Center at Harvard, and International Security Studies at Yale. His essays have appeared in The New Republic, The National Interest, and Foreign Affairs. He is currently writing a history of the concept of the “free world.”

Altynay Junusova

Altynay Junusova

Senior Operations Manager

Altynay Junusova is the Monterey Initiative’s senior operations manager. Altynay directs various aspects of foundational projects, including the Monterey Summer Symposium, Monterey Conversations, Monterey Trialogue, and Visiting Experts program. Working across media, nonprofit, and academia, she has focused on delivering organizational results while building teams. Altynay previously served as an editor of the top TV news program “Time of Eurasia” for the China Central Television in Beijing. Later, she worked for the International Foundation “Roza Otunbayeva Initiative” in Bishkek, where she coordinated innovative projects focused on China, Central Asia, and STEM. Altynay holds a B.A. from Beijing Foreign Studies University and M.S. from Georgetown University.  

Picture of Michael Kimmage

Michael Kimmage

Host of Monterey Conversations

Michael Kimmage is a professor of history at the Catholic University of America. From 2014 to 2017, he served in the Secretary’s Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, where he held the Russia/Ukraine portfolio. His latest book was published in April 2020 with Basic Books and is titled The Abandonment of the West: the History of an Idea in American Foreign Policy.


Yanliang Pan

Research Assistant

Yanliang Pan is a research assistant with the Monterey Trialogue and a master’s student at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies. His research interests range from U.S.- and China-Russia relations to Russian nuclear energy exports and youth policy.