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Associate Professor

Mahabat Baimyrzaeva
McCone Building
(831) 647-4155

Dr. Baimyrzaeva’s focus areas include organizational learning, capacity building, change, and strategic planning using socially innovative and design thinking approaches. In her work Dr. Baimyrzaeva aims to integrate insights from multiple disciplines, including organizational management, cognitive/behavioral sciences, public policy and administration, international law and development. She has designed and taught more than 40 courses on diverse subjects in the context of international development and policy, including organizational leadership/management, social innovations, nation building, policy analysis, and applied research methods and design. 

In addition to teaching, she regularly mentors students during their consultancies with influential local, national, and international organizations. She also authored many peer-reviewed publications about public management reforms. She also regularly delivers presentations, workshops, and trainings in policy analysis, applied research methods, strategic leadership, governance reforms, and culture change to government and nonprofit professionals in Central Asia and in the US. 

Prior to coming to the Institute Dr. Baimyrzaeva worked at various government, nonprofit, academic, and international organizations, including in the capacity of a civil society expert at National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and director of the Bureau of Legal and Social Assistance for Refugees in Kyrgyzstan. She is fluent in English, Russian, and Kyrgyz; speaks basic Turkish, and has basic familiarity with other Turkic languages.

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past four years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

Leadership and Social Innovations (MPA gateway management course requirement)

Public, community, and nonprofit organizations are perceived to be lagging behind for-profit enterprises in innovativeness. Meanwhile, social challenges they are expected to tackle are increasing in scale and complexity, challenging their traditional ways of getting things done. To remain relevant and effective, pioneering organizations from various sectors, industries, and countries have been innovating with promising outcomes. This course intends to help students learn examples of such innovations and their methods. While the course predominantly focuses on organizational level (since organizations are a medium through which we get most things done), this course equally applies to individual, institutional, and policy levels. Moreover, the course can help you jumpstart your leadership training by providing knowledge as well as practical analytical and decision making tools and skills applicable in wide range of problem solving.

Spring 2017 - MIIS

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Students will choose a focal topic or challenge that is relevant to their degree. Under faculty member’s guidance, students will then implement a suitable plan of activities to shed significant light on this topic. Final products may take many forms including a traditional research paper, a guide or manual for practitioners, a video product, or alternative deliverable that would be of value to a well-defined audience of practitioners. Students must identify a faculty sponsor who has consented to supervise the project in order to enroll in this class. Work can be taken on-campus or in field settings. Credit is variable (4 or 6 units) and depends upon the scope, complexity and rigor of the project.

The B section is 3 credits and is only open to joint IEM/MPA students.

Spring 2017 - MIIS

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Every student of policy and management will benefit from better understanding organizational perspective given that organizations are a medium through which we get most things done. The tools, skills, and knowledge learned in this course can make you more strategic and effective in proposing and implementing policies, programs, and projects. Moreover, the course can help you jumpstart your leadership training by providing practical analytical and decision making tools applicable in wide range of problem solving.

In this course you will study how organizations operate by focusing on key organizational management dimensions and functions. You will conduct weekly analysis, diagnosis, and problem solving exercises focusing on one organizational management dimension at a time for the organization you are familiar with. In the end of the course you will compile your weekly briefs into an organizational assessment report that can be shared with that entity.

While this course primarily focuses on public organizations, readings and exercises will be provided on management of nonprofit and private organizations as well so that students can better understand their differences and commonalities and draw practical inferences.

Fall 2016 - MIIS

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Do you have a real life project in mind you would want to tackle using a faculty mentor’s help? Do you want to build and/or strengthen your skills and knowledge, ideally by working on a consulting project for an organization of your choice? If yes, the Capstone course is for you. In this course you will be in the driver’s seat working on your project, while the faculty will coach you and provide practical skills and tools to help you effectively articulate, design, and implement your project, and communicate your findings to your client. In addition to individualized feedback sessions, faculty will also guide you to right resources for additional relevant skill and knowledge building.

Please check the prereqs:

- Only open for DPP students in 3rd or 4th semesters who are using the course to fulfill their Practicum requirement.

- Students who are planning to enroll in FMS, DPMI+ or IPSS should not enroll in this course. Contact the instructor if requesting exceptions.

- Students may undertake projects individually or in teams (maximum 3 per team), but team justification must be compelling

Fall 2016 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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Areas of Interest

I am fascinated by how we learn – especially by how each of us filters and perceives information differently depending on our pre-existing ideas and assumptions. They color what we see and how we interpret the world. That is why instead of just introducing new content, I first try to help the learners – be they my students or clients – to uncover their deeply-seated ideas and assumptions, subject them to critical review, and, when necessary and possible, replace them with a more accurate view of reality. I encourage such deeper learning though uniquely designed sessions that help them actively reflect on their thought patterns and experiences.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning, and Development
  • MA in Public Administration & International Management Graduate Certificate, University of Hawaii College of Business Administration
  • BA in International Law, International University of Kyrgyzstan

Professor Baimyrzaeva has been teaching at the Institute since 2007.



  • “The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Improving Citizen Participation in Governance,” International Journal of Public Administration, 2014, volume 15, issue 2, pp. 77-90
  • “Policy Analysis as a Profession in Government: Who Does What and How?” Occasional Paper No 2, November 2013, University of Central Asia (in English and Russian)
  • “Kyrgyzstan’s Public Sector Reforms: 1991 – 2010,” International Journal of Public Administration, 2011, volume 34, issue 9, pp. 555-566
  • “Analysis of Public Administration Reforms in Kyrgyzstan in Light of Its Recent Governance Crises,” International Public Management Review, 2011, Volume 12, issue 1. pp. 22-46
  • “Corruption and Legitimacy Problems in Post-Communist States” (a book review), Public Administration Review, 2007, May/June, pp. 592-594
  • “Institutional Reforms in Kyrgyzstan,” Central Asian Studies Review, 2005, volume 4, issue 1, pp. 29-35