Our team

Irina Zhivotova

Accountant

Irina graduated from the faculty of economics of the Moscow Institute of Soviet Trade. She worked as an accountant in both for-profit business organizations and government agencies.

Irina joined the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan in 2007.

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Ainel Kainazarova

Public Communications Coordinator

Public Communications Coordinator

Ainel graduated from the Department of Journalism of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in 2005. She remained at the University to complete her Master of Political Science degree.

She attended a professional course on PR at the St. Petersburg Higher School of Management in 2013.

After receiving her education, Ainel Kainazarova joined with a non-for-profit organization “Moldir” as a specialist of communication department. She later worked as an analytical expert at the Center for Ethno-Political and Humanitarian Research and as an editor at the Consulting Agency and BOTA Foundation.

Ainel joined the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan in 2012.

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Saule Kalikova

Policy Advisor

Earlier work assignments of Saule Kalikova included contracts and staff positions such as a  research officer with the Research Institute of Pedagogical Sciences named after Y. Altynsarin (1978-1991); a chief specialist of the Department of Education Development Strategy with MES RK (1991-1993); an advisor of the Education Committee of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (1993-1995). She has extensive experience as a national expert in the projects of various international organizations (such as ADB, WB, UNDP, UNESCO) to assist the Government of Kazakhstan in reforming the education sector (2001-2009).

Saule Kalikova is the author and co-author of the numerous policy papers and recommendations addressed to the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan (mainly related to the general secondary education). She is the author of several publications devoted to the analysis of various aspects of the education policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Saule joined the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan in 1995 as a training coordinator (1995-1997); then she continued her career with the Foundation as a director of education programs (1998-2003), a director of Education Policy Analysis Center (2003-2008), an advisor on education policy (2009-2013), and then policy advisor (since 2014 up to present).

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Askar Kushkunbayev

Transparency and Accountability Program Coordinator

Askar earned BA International Journalism from Tashkent State University in 1999. In 2002 he received MA Media Studies degree from the University of Ulster, UK.

From 2002 to 2007 he taught journalism courses at Karakalpak State University in Nukus, Uzbekistan.

From 2007 to 2009 he served as project coordinator at Eurasia Foundation’s Almaty office.

In 2009 Askar joined SFK as a coordinator of transparency and accountability related projects.

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Regina Kireyeva

Grant Manager

Regina graduated from the philosophical and economic department of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. She worked at the Delegation of the European Commission and the USAID CAR.

Regina Kireyeva has been in her current position at Soros Foundation Kazakhstan since 2014.

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