Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Yelena Osipova

Osipova Picture

I was born in Yerevan, Armenia to a diasporan repatriate family, in the final years of the Soviet Union. Growing up in the troubled South Caucasus in post-Soviet years, and then studying in conflict-ridden areas such as Cyprus and the Balkans, I was always well aware of the repercussions international affairs, conflicts and underdevelopment could have on the day-to-day lives of people. Also, having lived in very multi-cultural and diverse environments, I came to realize that perceptions, stereotypes and attitudes often lie at the core of many of these problems, which could be addressed through communication. I believe this explains my fascination with politics and international communication.

I blog at Global Chaos ( and Tweet @LenaOsipova (

Why I chose SIS

Everything in the world is interconnected. Compartmentalizing and separating issues, particularly in our increasingly globalizing world, not only results in an incomplete picture, but also in inadequate responses. Academics should especially keep this in mind and utilize more holistic analytical approaches: something that can only be done utilizing multiple methods and disciplinary perspectives. SIS is one of the best schools equipped to provide this training, since it offers its students the opportunity to excel in interdisciplinary topics and approaches. The learning environment is always supportive, yet challenging and stimulating. The location also provides direct and immediate access to many of the major government bodies, international organizations, archives, think-tanks, and NGOs, helping students do a substantial part of their research without ever needing to leave town.

Previous Education

M.A. International Communication, School of International Service, American University 

B.A. International Relations; Journalism, American University in Bulgaria  

Institute on Political Journalism, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (Summer 2008) 

American Institute on Political and Economic Systems, Georgetown University/Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic (Summer 2007)

Research Interests

Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Soft Power, International Communication, New/Digital Media & IR, Russian foreign policy, Eurasia


Curriculum Vitae

My Dissertation

"Public Diplomacy in Transition: Negotiating Russian Identity and Soft Power."

Awards & Fellowships

Fellow, Rising Experts Program, Center on Global Interests (2014-2015)

Global Excellence Scholarship, Gulbenkian Foundation (2014-2016)

Doctoral Dissertation Grant, Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California (2014-2015)

Doctoral Student Research Award, American University (2014-2015)

Global Supplementary Grant Program, Open Society Foundation (2011 – 2012)