Michigan State University: The Challenge of Democracy-Building

Former Soviet Union

James Madison College: “The Challenge of Democracy Building in Newly Independent States”


On October 7, 2019, James Madison College, Michigan State University, a JMC partner program, will host former president of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva. She will speak on the challenges of democracy building in newly independent states.

Monday, October 7, 2019 • 6:00 PM
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center – Big Ten Room C • Michigan State University

Free and open to the public.

Click here to learn more and to RSVP >>



Roza Otunbayeva is the only female to serve as head of state of the Kyrgyz Republic or anywhere in the Central Asian region, and she is one of only a handful of women who has headed a Soviet successor state. Otunbayeva was a prominent supporter of each of the Kyrgyz Republic’s two democratic revolutions. She was named Interim President in 2010, and was elected by referendum to a year- long term of office. In 2011 she became the first president of the Kyrgyz (and anywhere in the Central Asian region) to voluntarily leave office at the end of a term. Before independence, Otunbayeva worked first as a university faculty member, then as a local communist party official, and from there was recruited into diplomatic service by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. She had been appointed the USSR’s Ambassador to Malaysia on the eve of the USSR’s collapse, but she decided to return to her native Kyrgyz Republic and serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position she held on three separate occasions. She also served as the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ambassador to the UK and Ireland, and as their Ambassador to the US.

Learn more about Roza Otunbayeva >>



James Madison College, a JMC partner program, is a Michigan State University school that focuses upon politics, government, and public policy. The students and faculty share a common goal of addressing and examining the major political, legal, social, and economic issues affecting our world. Each major within the college allows students to examine a unique aspect of public affairs while developing strong communication, analytic and problem-solving skills. Graduates of James Madison College go on to careers in government, politics, business, education, and human services, as well as continue their education at top graduate and law schools.

Click here to learn more about James Madison College >>



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