Judy Kuo

Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan

Judy Kuo is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor.  Prior to assuming duties as Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassy Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan, she was the deputy chief of mission of the U.S. embassy in Montenegro.  Since joining the Foreign Service in 1999, she has worked in London, Moscow, Taipei, as well as several offices in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, including the Office of UN Political Affairs, the Office of Russian Affairs, the Office of Press and Public Outreach in the European Bureau, and the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.   

Ms. Kuo speaks Russian, Serbian/Montenegrin, and Chinese.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political economy from the University of California in Berkeley and a Master of Science degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  In her free time, she played percussion in community orchestras for 20 years, enjoys taking ballet classes, and has run seven marathons.  Ms. Kuo is married to Mr. Bao Nguyen-Khoa, and together they share their Foreign Service adventures with a naughty cat adopted from Montenegro.

Azamat Askaruly

General Director, QazTrade JSC, Kazakhstan

Azamat Askaruly graduated from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Harvard University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
In different years, he worked in senior positions in Samruk-Kazyna Invest LLP and KTZ Express Hong Kong LLC.
He served as Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Vice-Minister of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Torsten Brezina

Cluster Coordinator of the regional projects in Central Asia of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

He has devoted more than twenty years of service at the GIZ worldwide, especially he has managed different programmes in Russia, Ukraine and other countries. Since 2014 to 2017 Mr. Brezina was the GIZ’s Country Director in Uzbekistan and for today he coordinates the GIZ’s projects focusing on environment, economic development, trade facilitation, vocational training etc. in the Central Asia and he works in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.



Assel Egemberdiyeva

Graduated from the Kazakh Humanitarian Law University (Bachelor of International Law) and University of Westminster (London, UK), Master of International Commercial Law.

She began her career at GRATA Law Firm. From 2011 to the present, Ms. Egemberdiyeva has been working at QazTrade Trade Policy Development Center JSC as Deputy Director-General. She supervises analytical and consulting support for export activities and implementation of the export acceleration program.

Jamilya Imankulova

Serial entrepreneur, international speaker, business mentor, couch on integrative life style and personal transformation, Kyrgyzstan

Jamilya Imankulova is one of the leaders in HR and management consulting, as well as organic industries of KR, ambassador of women entrepreneurship and integrative life style. After graduation from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, New York, USA Jamilya Imankulova co-founded the PE “EcoFarm” enterprise with “Ecomade” trademark with its own chain of organic shops (3 offline, 1 online) in Bishkek, logistic center for storing and processing organic produce in Baitik village. Main goals of the Ecomade enterprise include supporting small and medium sized farms involved in organic agricultural production and processing through product promotion, education of the community on the concept and advantages of organic and healthy/positive attitude towards oneself and the environment. The main ideology of Ecomade is “Clean Country, Healthy Nation”. Jamilya Imankulova is actively works on awareness rising on integrative life style and healthy nutrition by conducting master classes, speeches for the community and coaching. Author and Couch, she initiated and cofounded educational and personal development platform http://www.liveyourlife.pro in 2020. Platform aimed to support people in wellbeing and personal transformation to healthier, happier and full of energy life. Jamilya is serial entrepreneur, international speaker, business mentor, couch on integrative life style and personal transformation.

Barbara Ramos

Chief of Research and Strategies for Exports, UN International Trade Centre (ITC), Switzerland

Prior to joining ITC, Barbara was the Team Manager and Knowledge Lead at the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, based at the World Economic Forum, where she led the team responsible for research, trade data analysis and monitoring and evaluation. She previously worked for the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the World Bank and USAID. Barbara has also been lecturing international trade and investment at The Fletcher School for a number of years. Barbara holds a PhD and a MA in international Trade from The Fletcher School (United States) and a MA in International Relations from Universidade de Brasília (Brazil). 

Bekhzod Khoshimov

Doctoral Candidate at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, a columnist for gazeta.uz and a host of the podcast “Hoshimov Iqtisodiyoti” (Hoshimov’s Economics).

Valentina Rollo

Economist and Project Manager of the SME Competitive Surveys, UN International Trade Centre (ITC), Switzerland

Before joining ITC, she worked for the World Bank, the ILO, the UNCTAD, the OECD, and the European Commission. She has published peer-reviewed articles as well as policy papers on international trade and SME competitiveness. Valentina completed her PhD in International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva and is an alumna from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.  

Rajesh Aggarwal

Chief of Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business at the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva

Since January 2006, he has been leading a programme aimed at building capacity of the private sector in developing countries to effectively engage in business advocacy with their governments on multilateral and regional/bilateral trade negotiations and national trade policy issues. The programme encompasses assistance on implementation of trade facilitation reforms, strengthening standards and quality infrastructure to assist developing countries to credibly demonstrate conformity with international standards, formulating trade policy strategies for enhanced business competitiveness, etc. Before joining ITC, he was India’s negotiator in the WTO covering Agriculture, TRIPS and Public Health, Rules and Trade & Competition Policy for more than five years.  He has over 22 years of experience working in senior positions in the Government of India. 




Anne Chappaz

Chief, Institutions and Ecosystems, ITC, Geneva

Anne Chappaz is Chief of Institutions and Ecosystems for the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Geneva. Her team of experts deliver trade and investment impact for good, by helping business support organisations and ecosystems improve performance, and better serve SMEs. The team also has a particular focus, through the Youth and Trade programme, on supporting the employability and entrepreneurship of young men and women. Previously, during her 14 years of experience in New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), as well as 9 years in shipping and export manufacturing, Anne Chappaz has helped hundreds of companies to meet the challenges of internationalization. Her roles with NZTE included sector leadership, grant programmes, account management and senior trade, investment and diplomatic roles in North America, Europe and the Middle East. She holds master’s degrees from the Universities of Auckland and Bordeaux, and certificates from MIT/Sloan in corporate strategy and change leadership. She has also been trained in Balanced Scorecards, General Management, Project and Programme Management, Design Thinking, Lean Manufacturing and executive coaching.

Bahodur Rakhimzoda, PhD.

Deputy Director of the Export Agency under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.

With extensive experience in the private sector, Mr. Rakhimzoda is a specialist in international trade and management. Graduate of the Peoples’ Friendship University of the Russian Federation. Mr. Bahodur Rakhimzoda holds a PhD in Economics and has taught at the Tajik National University of the Republic of Tajikistan. He was previously with the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Nurlan Kulbatyrov

Expert of the Industry Change Management Program of the Government of Kazakhstan; Member of the “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor” national team based on Nazarbayev University

Mr. Kulbatyrov graduated from the Timiryazev Russian State Agrarian University. with a degree in Consulting and Management.

From 2006-2016 he worked at the Economic Research Institute under the Ministry of National Economy. Since 2016 Mr. Kulbatyrov serves as a Deputy General Director of the QazTrade Center for Trade Policy Development under the Ministry of Trade and Integration.

Throughout his career he participated scientific trainings in South Korea, Japan, Turkey and China. He is an Expert of the Industry Change Management Program of the Government of Kazakhstan (2020) and a member of the “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor” national team based on Nazarbayev University.

Geoff Wright

Director, Asia Region, DAI

Mr. Geoff Wright manages a portfolio of economic growth development projects funded by USAID in the Asia Region of DAI.  DAI works on the frontlines of global development, transforming ideas into action and action into impact.  Geoff has 25 years of experience advising governments and the private sector on regulatory, trade policy and trade facilitation reform in emerging markets.

Starting his career with New Zealand Treasury and in investment banking, he has served in long and short-term field roles across Asia and the Middle East.  Most recently he was Chief of Party for the USAID Competitiveness, Trade, and Jobs activity in Central Asia, implemented by DAI. He is admitted to practice law in Australia and has masters’ degrees in law and economics.

Mikheil Janelidze

Ex-Vice Prime Minister of the Government of Georgia, Senior Consultant at the Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG)

Has extensive experience in international affairs and economic development fields. Significantly, his area of expertise includes the following: political and economic risk analysis, trade and economic policy both development and implementation, national and sectoral strategic planning, digital governance, artificial intelligence, and its implications on strategy development and further implementation, IFI and donor relations, international business and public affairs, and intercultural communication and diplomacy.  Mr. Janelidze has held several high-level positions at public institutions of Georgia: Minster of Foreign Affairs, Head of Department for Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Team Leader of the ADB Project, and Chairman of the Center for European Governance and Economy.

William Tompson

Head of the Eurasia Division in the OECD Global Relations Secretariat

He is the author of Khrushchev: A Political Life (Macmillan/St Martin’s, 1995) and The Soviet Union under Brezhnev (Longman, 2003), as well as The Political Economy of Reform: Lessons from Pensions, Product Markets and Labour Markets in Ten OECD Countries (OECD, 2009) and numerous articles, book chapters and working papers on political economy and economic policy. He was the  lead author for the OECD Economic Surveys of the Russian Federation in 2004 and 2006, as well as the OECD Economic Survey of the Czech Republic (2010) and co-author of the first-ever OECD Economic Assessment of Ukraine (2007). Since 2010, he has led a number of OECD studies of regional and urban development, including Investing Together: Working Effectively across Levels of Government (2013), urban policy reviews of China and Mexico, and national territorial reviews of Slovenia, Ukraine and Japan. He was the editor of the OECD’s Making Reform Happen (2010) and, together with Dr Julie Newton, of Institutions, Ideas and Leadership in Russian Politics (Macmillan, 2010).

Prior to joining the OECD, Professor Tompson taught at the University of London and the University of Oxford. He has also worked as a private consultant and as an advisor to the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs of the British House of Commons. In addition to working at the OECD, he has taught at the Institut d´Études Politiques de Paris. He holds BA and MA degrees from Emory University in the United States and a doctorate from the University of Oxford.  


Riad Ibragimov

Editor-in-Chief of the MANAGEMENT magazine

Editor-in-Chief of the MANAGEMENT magazine (www.iso-management.com, www.certgroup.org/management/). Director of CERT Group for international development (www.certgroup.org) International expert on ISO, having 20 years of experience. Founder of more than 10 companies in the field of management and food industry. Joint ventures with TUV NORD, Intercertifika-TUV together with TUV Thüringen.IRCA Lead Auditor (www.irca.org, UK)Conducted over 500 audits and trainings globally. 

Ildar Ineleev

Director and Head of the CERT International s.r.o. certification body in the CIS

Director and Head of the CERT International s.r.o. certification body in the CIS. Member of the “Management” magazine editorial board for the CIS countries. Has more than 30 years of experience in mechanical engineering, construction, pharmaceuticals, banking, design organizations and service industries. The winner of the Food Safety Expert award as the best food safety expert. The best business coach on ISO 9001, ISO 22000 and ISO 37001 standards in the “MANAGEMENT” magazine rating IRCA Lead Auditor (www.irca.org) Conducted over 750 audits and trainings for the enterprises in the CIS and far abroad countries. Trained over 300 candidates for international auditors (IRCA) Author of more than 15 articles on the application of ISO standards.

Marat Khabibulin

Director and trainer of the CERT ACADEMY international training company
Director and trainer of the CERT ACADEMY international training company. TUV Thuringen (Germany) and CERT International (Slovakia) Lead Auditor. IRCA Lead Auditor and Certified Trainer (www.irca.org, UK). Conducted over 300 trainings, including one for top managers in 20 countries of the world. Member of the editorial board of the “Management” magazine Author of over 20 articles in professional editions. For reference: CERT ACADEMY has its offices in Moscow, Kazan, Almaty, Nur-Sultan, Bishkek, Georgia and Tashkent. Since 2005 the company has trained over 30,000 specialists and business leaders.
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