Introducing the Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program Class of 2016

WASHINGTON – Cultural Vistas is pleased to announce newest class of the Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program.

The Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program is a summer internship program funded by the U.S. Department of State that provides emerging leaders from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia with the opportunity to gain real-world experience complementing and enriching their graduate studies in the United States.

The class of 2016 brings together 51 graduate students, currently studying in the Unites States through the Foreign Fulbright Program. This year’s class consists of representatives from all 12 Muskie countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Partner host organizations are not only at the forefront of bringing innovative talent to the American workplace, but also play a critical role in fostering mutual understanding. The organizations hosting this summer’s interns span a variety of fields and industries and include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Newsweek, National Democratic Institute, Governmental Accounting Standards Board, Santander Bank Consumer USA, and the National Association for Bilingual Education.

“Immersing yourself in a different culture is a truly enriching and even life-changing experience. I believe that establishing a network of friends across geographical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries does serve the purpose of establishing a global community,” says Nadiia Biletska. Nadiia, a participant from Ukraine, is currently interning at Northwestern University. She adds, “Learning about the differences and similarities makes you both value the world’s diversity and also embrace own cultural heritage.”

Other 2016 Muskie participants have highlighted the professional impact of the program as well. “I view this internship as a great experience to leverage my professional as well as personal skills in the professional environment. Working for a consulting firm in the United States will help me to learn the current practices in the industry as well as create a network with professionals that will further benefit me as I move up along my career path,” noted Sheker Myradova, of Turkmenistan, who is interning at EIMC this summer.

Nana Naskidashvili, of Georgia, is currently working at Newsweek, “This internship will help me to see and learn how media organizations work in the Unites States, how editorial meetings are held and priorities are set within a coverage of different topics. I am given a chance to practice my writing skills, learn more about ethical and professional standards of the U.S. media and use them back in my country. Meeting professionals, working with them, and making new contacts for further collaboration is also an important part of my internship.”

The 2016 Muskie program began with an orientation in Washington, D.C. on May 20, 2016. Other components will include virtual learning activities, a three-month internship in the participant’s field of study, and a closing seminar in August. The final seminar will take place in Charlottesville, Virginia and will provide participants the opportunity to reconnect and share their professional experiences with each other.

Learn more about the Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program at

About Cultural Vistas
Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. We develop international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Our programs empower people to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society. Cultural Vistas is headquartered in New York with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Berlin. Learn more at

Follow @CulturalVistas and #MuskieIntern on Twitter

About the Muskie Program
The Muskie Program has established meaningful connections between Americans and nearly 5,000 emerging Eurasian leaders over the last two-plus decades. Named after the late Senator from Maine and preeminent U.S. environmental leader, the original academic program was established by Congress in 1992 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union to help ensure that countries in the region continued healthy economic and democratic growth. This new iteration of the Muskie Program provides professional exchange opportunities for current Foreign Fulbright Scholars to continue furthering these goals and promoting collaboration and mutual understanding.

Meet the Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program Class of 2016:

Nurganym Agzamova
Field of Study: Library Science
University: Syracuse University
Host Organization: Smithsonian Libraries

Jalil Ahmadov
Field of Study: International Tax Law
University: University of Florida
Host Organization: New York City Department of Finance

Iuliia Alieva
Field of Study: Journalism and Mass Communication
University: University of Missouri, Columbia
Host Organization: The United Nations

Sanzhar Baizhanov
Field of Study: Public Administration
University: Texas A&M University
Host Organization: NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration)

Olga Bakina
Field of Study: Public Health
University: Florida Atlantic University
Host Organization: Pan American Health Organization; Lighthouse Guild

Viktoriia Bazylianska
Field of Study: Public Health
University: Wayne State University
Host Organization: University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

Mariam Begiashvili
Field of Study: International Affairs
University: Brandeis University
Host Organization: National Democratic Institute

Nadiia Biletska
Field of Study: Public Health and Education
University: Northern Illinois University
Host Organization: Northwestern University

Rodica Cebotarenco
Field of Study: Public Finance Administration
University: Northern Illinois University
Host Organization: Governmental Accounting Standards Board

Ekaterine Cherkezishvili
Field of Study: Public Health
University: Kent State University
Host Organization: University Research Co.

Artur Denysenko
Field of Study: Energy Policy
University: University of Delaware
Host Organization: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Irina Gera
Field of Study: Business Administration
University: Willamette University
Host Organization: Santander Bank Consumer USA

Armen Ghazaryan
Field of Study: Agricultural Economics
University: University of Missouri, Columbia
Host Organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Yevheniia Haidamaka
Field of Study: Publishing and Mass Communication
University: Savannah College of Art & Design
Host Organization: Society of Illustrators

Altynbek Ismailov
Field of Study: Economic Policy
University: Columbia University
Host Organization: International Economic Development Council

Guljamiyla Kaipbergenova
Field of Study: International Commercial Law
University: University of Pittsburgh Law
Host Organization: White & Case LLP

Ketevan Khvedelidze
Field of Study: Business Administration
University: Rochester Institute of Technology
Host Organization: Santander Bank Consumer USA

Ekaterina Kupunia
Field of Study: Business Administration and Management
University: Rochester Institute of Technology
Host Organization: MRA–The Management Association

Raman Maroz
Field of Study: International Human Rights Law
University: The University of Notre Dame
Host Organization: World Service Authority

Khursand Mavlonazarov
Field of Study: Business Administration
University: University of Akron
Host Organization: Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation

Kateryna Moroz
Field of Study: International Law
University: University of Miami
Host Organization: Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli and Pratt, P.A.

Elena Mun
Field of Study: Public Health Management
University: Georgia State University
Host Organization: Project HOPE

Sheker Myradova
Field of Study: Business Administration
University: Syracuse University
Host Organization: EIMC

Nana Naskidashvili
Field of Study: Journalism
University: University of Missouri, Columbia
Host Organization: Newsweek

Sviatoslav Navrotskyi
Field of Study: Agricultural Management
University: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Host Organization: Bayer Crops

Mark Opanasiuk
Field of Study: International Agriculture Law
University: University of Arkansas
Host Organization: Goosman Law Firm

Tamar Papava
Field of Study: Business Administration
University: Georgetown University
Host Organization: Amazon

Liudmila Pestun
Field of Study: International Development
University: Ohio University
Host Organization: SSG Global Advisors

Denys Pivniak
Field of Study: Law–Intellectual Property
University: University of New Hampshire School of Law
Host Organization: Estefano Law, P.A.

Sabina Ramazanova
Field of Study: Education and Technology
University: Indiana University, Bloomington
Host Organization: Blackboard

Zhanyl Saparbekova
Field of Study: Higher Education Administration
University: California State University, Fullerton
Host Organization: California State University, Fullerton, International and Intercultural Programs Office

Nino Simonishvili
Field of Study: Information Sciences–Cybersecurity
University: Loyola University Chicago
Host Organization: National Cybersecurity Institute

Begench Turayev
Field of Study: Environmental Management
University: Northeastern University
Host Organization: Yaskawa Solectria Solar