Prof., Dr. Sc. Vitaly Naumkin was elected Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies in May 2009 and Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2011. He graduated with distinction from the Institute of Asia and Africa (then Institute of Oriental Languages) at the Moscow State University, where he also earned his Doctor of Science degree with a dissertation on the history of South Yemen’s armed struggle. In 1984, he joined the Institute of Oriental Studies under the Russian Academy of Sciences, where he became Head of Department of the Arab Countries (1984-1989), then Deputy Director of the Institute (1989-1994). From 1994 to 2009, he served as the Head of the Center for Arab Studies. He also delivered lectures at many Universities in different countries and in 2004, he was a Rockefeller Foundation fellow at the prestigious Bellagio Center (Italy). Since 2003, V. Naumkin also serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Regional Studies at the Faculty of World Politics at Moscow State University.
In terms of public service, Professor Naumkin has been President of the “Centre for Strategic and Political Studies”, a non-profit NGO, and the co-chair of the Russian-American Regional Conflicts Task Force of the Dartmouth conference. In 2006, he was appointed by the UN Secretary General to be a member of the High Level Group (HLG) of the UN Alliance of Civilizations project. He was then appointed as the Ambassador for the Alliance in 2008.
Vitaly Naumkin has been honored with Russian and foreign awards including the Russian Order of Friendship, Certificate of Merit from Russia’s Federal Assembly, Order of Friendship of Tajikistan, Medal of Honor from Russia’s Council of Muftis, Golden Cross, and the V.Posuvalyuk Prize in international journalism.
Vitaly Naumkin is the author of over 500 publications in Russian and other languages dealing with the history of Asia, the Arab world, Central Asia and Caucasus, international relations, political science, Islamic studies, philology, conflict management and resolution.