Mr. Iskander Akylbayev is the Executive Director of the Kazakhstan Council on International Relations, a newly established analytical platform, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Diplomacy at the Academy of Public Administration, where he provides training to junior and mid-career diplomats. Mr. Akylbayev is also a foreign policy analyst at the national “Qazaqstan” TV channel. Previously, Mr. Akylbayev worked as a Senior Fellow at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of Kazakhstan, where his research focused on foreign policy and security issues in Central Asia and Afghanistan as well as China-Russia relations. He is also a fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leaders Program. Mr. Akylbayev holds an MA in International Area Studies from the University of Tsukuba, Japan (2014) and a double BA in International Relations from the School of Economics and Administrative Sciences and in English Language and Literature from the School of Arts and Sciences at Fatih University in Istanbul, Turkey (2011).