• Dr. Elnur Soltanov

    Dr. Elnur Soltanov


    Elnur Soltanov is an assistant professor at ADA University and the Chair of the Caspian Center for Energy and Environment. He earned Master's degree in International Relations from Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey (2003), and PhD in Political Science from Texas Tech University (2009), USA. Between 2000 and 2003, Dr. Soltanov worked as a researcher at the Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies (ASAM) think-tank in Ankara, Turkey, where he also served as the editor of Avrasya Haber, a joint project with Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TCDA). Prior to joining ADA, Dr. Soltanov served as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Truman State University, Missouri. He also taught at Texas Tech University, Texas, and Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania, USA. Dr. Soltanov's teaching and research interests cover international security and political economy, methodology and energy politics.

  • Mr. Zaur Shiriyev

    Mr. Zaur Shiriyev

    Senior Research Fellow

    Zaur Shiriyev is the senior research fellow for the Caspian Energy Center at ADA University (May 2014). Before taking on his current position, he worked as a leading research fellow in the Foreign Policy Analysis Department at the Baku-based think-tank Center for Strategic Studies (SAM) (September 2009 to May 2014). Prior to that, he worked in Turkey as a researcher at the Caucasus-Middle East Study Department of the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) in Istanbul, and as a senior researcher for the Caucasus-Central Asia Department at the International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO) in Ankara (2004 - 2008). He holds a BA in International Relations from Baku State University (2004) and a MS in Political Science from the University of Ankara, Turkey (2008), and an executive degree in Security Studies from the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Germany (2011). His areas of expertise include security, energy issues in the post-Soviet space, Turkish foreign policy, and the foreign and national security policies of the South Caucasus states, with an emphasis on the domestic determinants of such policies. Mr. Shiriyev is the author of more than one hundred professional articles and commentaries. He is co-editor of the book The Geopolitical Scene of the Caucasus: A Decade of Perspectives (Istanbul, 2013).

  • Dr. Gulchohra Aliyeva

    Dr. Gulchohra Aliyeva

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Gulchohra Aliyeva has obtained her PhD in Environmental Science from Lancaster University, UK; MSc in Geographical Ecology from Baku State University, and a BSc in Environmental Engineering from Khazar University. Her research area covers spatial distribution, fate and transport of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the environment of Azerbaijan. Gulchohra has been involved in a number of projects related to monitoring of POPs in the environment of Azerbaijan, including activities related to raising public awareness to POPs, as well as development of laboratory and skills capacity to deal with these chemicals. She is a Board Member of the International HCH & Pesticides Association, Netherlands (, and a Deputy Chairman of the UNEP-ECORES National Committee (; a non-government organisation (NGO) in Azerbaijan.
  • Dr. Ramesh Kanwar

    Dr. Ramesh Kanwar

    Senior Research Fellow

    Dr. Ramesh Kanwar is the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Provost of ADA University. He received his bachelors and masters degrees from India and Ph.D. in Water Resources and Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University, USA.  His primary research and teaching interests are in areas of water resources and ecological engineering, environmental and natural resource engineering, groundwater water quality, hydrology, irrigation, and drainage, soil physics, environmental science, sustainable agricultural production systems, global food and water security. During his tenure of 30 plus years at Iowa State University, he has received $15.6 million in competitive grants and has been a major professor for 29 Masters and 28 Ph.D. students. He has authored more than 550 publications including 188 refereed journal articles, 21 book chapters, and 90 conference proceeding articles. 

  • Amb. John J. Maresca

    Amb. John J. Maresca

    Visiting Fellow

    John Maresca is a former United States diplomat, business executive and educator whose career has included a number of leadership positions in foreign policy, negotiations and the energy business.  Following his diplomatic career he was President of the Open Media Research Institute (OMRI) in Prague, and Vice President for International Relations of the California and Houston-based energy company Unocal.  He was appointed Rector of the United Nations University for Peace, in Costa Rica, from 2007-2013, and now advises the Rector of ADA University.  He established the Business Humanitarian Forum in Geneva in 1999.  Maresca is a graduate of Yale University, pursued post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics, and later completed his Doctorate in International Relations.  He has lectured and published widely on issues of international security, energy, and responsible business development. 

  • Ms. Rena Babayeva

    Ms. Rena Babayeva

    Project Manager

    Ms. Rena Babayeva has been working at ADA University since September 2009. She received Master’s degree in International Relations from Webster University Geneva.  In 2008 Ms Babayeva was an  HR Assistant at  the  International Federation of  Red  Cross and  Red  Crescent Societies in Geneva.   In January – March 2007 she was doing an internship at the International & Correspondent Banking Department at BCP (Banque de Commerce et de Placements) Geneva, Switzerland. Ms Babayeva received Bachelor of Arts degree from Webster University Geneva in 2005.