What are you most passionate about?
In terms of teaching, I am passionate about bringing out the best in my students and helping them realize their potential. Using innovative and learner-centered teaching methods I teach diverse subjects, including social innovation in public sector, organizational management, applied research design and implementation, nation building, participatory governance, and policy analysis.
Research-wise I explore how institutions – rules and their enforcement mechanisms that mediate relationships in society, organizations, and families – change in order to understand how to design and change such institutions. To answer these questions, I draw insights from multiple disciplines including organizational management, cognitive and behavioral sciences, public policy and administration, and international law and development.
What do you enjoy most about being a professor at MIIS?
I feel privileged to work with our exceptional students who are pragmatic idealists - bright and courageous young people who understand the daunting challenges in building a better future globally, and yet remain optimistic and driven to make a positive contribution. They inspire me to try harder and do my best to facilitate their learning and development.
Institution Building and Development, Institutional Change and Theory, Organizational Management and Development, Capacity Building and Development, Public Sector Reform, Corruption, Culture Analysis and Change, Policy Analysis, Applied Research Methods, Democratic Transition, and Innovative Teaching and Learning Methods.
Regional expertise: Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, Post-Soviet Countries.
During 2011-2014, as the program’s academic lead, Mahabat redesigned the International Professional Service Semester Program to ensure it best meets students’ and employers’ needs and interests. In this capacity she also designed and implemented a new set of pre-departure training modules offering skills highly sought-after by our students and most employers; delivered professional development trainings on consulting and applied research design; advised program fellows on their consultancy projects conducted during their internships with influential intergovernmental organizations around the world; and coordinated the work of a dozen faculty advising the program fellows.
In 2014 Mahabat consulted for the Global Citizenship Report Card initiative to refine its methodology for performance ranking of all countries on internationally agreed norms and standards in poverty reduction, gender equity, environmental stewardship, human rights, humanitarian response, and global peace and justice.
In 2012 Mahabat published a single authored book “Institutional Reforms in Public Sector: What Did We Learn?” concerned with recurring failures in public sector institutional reforms promoted by international development agencies. It focuses on the following pressing questions in international development theory and practice: What does it take to design effective government institutions and sustain positive changes? What have we learned about the attempts to deliberately design and redesign public sector institutions in different countries? What works and what doesn't, and why? What happens when reforms fail? This book pushes the boundaries of existing theories on institutional change and draws insights for researchers and practitioners of institutional reforms by synthesizing lessons from past experiences and findings from multiple disciplines.
In 2012 Mahabat designed and delivered an intensive session titled “Strategic Planning in the Context of Counter Terrorism Efforts” at the Strategic Level Small Craft Combating Terrorism training organized by Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) for participants from anti-terrorism units from 14 different countries around the world.
In 2012-2015 Mahabat I consulted for the Interactive Flow Studies (educational start-up) on strategic management and marketing.
In 2011 and 2012 Mahabat designed and delivered intensive trainings on policy analysis in Russian language for government policy analysts and civil society representatives from various Central Asian states, by invitation from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek.
In Spring 2011 Mahabat coordinated the colloquium on Nation Building Colloquium which brought together leading experts globally specializing in various dimensions of nation building to weekly evening talks and social events with students.
Prior to joining the Monterey Institute, Mahabat held various positions in local and international organizations in Kyrgyzstan working on development, humanitarian assistance, and institutional capacity building. She also worked as a teaching associate at the University of Southern California.
- Ph.D. in Public Administration, University of Southern California, 2003-2010
- Master of Public Administration, University of Hawaii, 2001-2003
- International Management Graduate Certificate, College of Business Administration, University of Hawaii, 2002-2003
- Leadership and Culture Program, East-West Center, Honolulu, 2002-2003
- Undergraduate Degree in International Law, International University of Kyrgyzstan, 1994-1998
Select journal publications
- “The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Improving Citizen Participation in Governance,” International Journal of Public Administration, 2014, volume 15, issue 2, pp. 77-90
- “Policy Analysis as a Profession in Government: Who Does What and How?” Occasional Paper No 2, November 2013, University of Central Asia (in English and Russian)
- “Kyrgyzstan’s Public Sector Reforms: 1991 – 2010,” International Journal of Public Administration, 2011, volume 34, issue 9, pp. 555-566
- “Analysis of Public Administration Reforms in Kyrgyzstan in Light of Its Recent Governance Crises,” International Public Management Review, 2011, Volume 12, issue 1. pp. 22-46
- “Corruption and Legitimacy Problems in Post-Communist States” (a book review), Public Administration Review, 2007, May/June, pp. 592-594
- “Institutional Reforms in Kyrgyzstan,” Central Asian Studies Review, 2005, volume 4, issue 1, pp. 29-35
Select Conference Presentations
- “Bringing it All Together: Institutional Development in Light of National Policy Changes,” a closing address delivered at the Global Center Consortium Directors Conference, organized by the Global Center for Security Cooperation, Department of Defense, Monterey, CA, U.S.A on January 13, 2011
- “Collaborative Strategies in Combating Official Misconduct,” a talk delivered at the 68th National Conference of the American Society for Public Administration, Washington, DC, U.S.A. in April 2007
- “Assessing Institutional Reform: the Case of Kyrgyzstan” a paper delivered at the 20th International Political Science Association Conference, Fukuoka, Japan, in July 2006
- “Theoretical Framework for Understanding Anticorruption Strategies,” a paper delivered at the Sixth Annual Central Eurasian Studies Society Conference, Boston University, MA, U.S.A. in October 2010
- “Institution-Building Reforms in Kyrgyzstan,” a paper delivered at the Fifth Annual Central Eurasian Studies Society Conference, Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A. in October 2004
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
IPSS 8670 - High-ValueOrgCnsltingFieldWrk
Students who take IPSS 8530A workshop may submit deliverables in the first month of their internship for one additional credit. These deliverables will help students apply the tools they have learned in the IPSS 8530 workshop to better understand their host organizations.
Spring 2014 - MIIS
IPSS 8675 - IPSS Field Deliverables
During their IPSS internships students complete applied academic deliverables for which they earn six academic credits. The academic credit is not awarded for the internship itself, but for the work that applies students’ academic training to contribute to their host organizations’ mission in area of student’s career interest. The letter grades will be assigned based on the assessment of the following four deliverables:
IPSS Field Project: By the end of their internships students must have completed an ambitious project or other relatively autonomous contribution that presents value for the host organization and builds on students’ strengths and advances his/her skills and knowledge. The field project can take the form of a policy or consultancy report, evaluation, analysis, a website, or other substantive contribution to their host organization that integrates high quality research, analysis, and other skills and subject-matter knowledge. Faculty with relevant expertise and assigned peers will provide every student regular feedback on the major steps of the field project. Student’s regular internship responsibilities ideally should overlap with, but are not limited to the core field assignment. The organizations receiving interns are encouraged to help students identify such assignments prior to their arrival or at the very latest within one month after the start of student’s internship. The organization should provide assistance and guidance in completing this assignment.
Presentation: In the final part of the internship students will present on their field project to their colleagues at their host organizations. The video recording of that presentation will be then reviewed by the MIIS faculty who will invite students for Q&A and also provide additional feedback to students to improve the quality of their final deliverable(s).
Peer feedback: Interns will collaborate with their assigned peers by providing mutual peer feedback on their core field assignments to improve the quality of their work and learn from each other.
Final reflection: Interns will submit a final reflection to IPSS faculty and staff near the end of their internship- summarizing their most important insights and lessons they obtained from the internship experience for their professional and academic development.
Optional: Students are also highly encouraged to blog about their reflections on their internship experiences and comment on each others’ blogs throughout the internship assignment to maximize their learning.
Spring 2014 - MIIS
MPAG 8519 - Managing Public Organizations
This course introduces students to different aspects of public organizations and key management concepts, ideas, tools, practices, and functions. Management here is broadly defined as a field of practice concerned with running organizations and implementing policies, programs, and projects.
Fall 2014 - MIIS
MPAG 8527 - Public Policy & Social Change
This class will prepare students to do policy analysis. Students will acquire skills and knowledge essential for engaging in policy development and change and for conducting applied policy research. The course uses a case-based approach to explore the complexities of policy systems, processes, and outcomes.
Spring 2014 - MIIS
MPAG 8573 - PublicSector&SocialInnovation
Fall 2014 - MIIS
MPAG 8605 - Capstone:Rsch&Writing Proj-PA
The capstone requirement has two objectives. First, it enables you to acquire, demonstrate, integrate, reflect on, apply, and deepen competencies central to the MPA degree and to your future. Second, a capstone project prepares you for a position you hope to get upon graduation. Your capstone project is a public demonstration of your learning process here at MIIS: through it, you show your peers and faculty how far you have progressed. A public sharing of your work is required. How you do that is open for negotiation.
The capstone seminar helps you produce a deliverable which you are proud to submit to employers, working professionals in the field you wish to enter, and/or journals. Choice of capstone projects is limitless and students who perform best are those that creatively identify a project and product that is meaningful to them.
My role as seminar faculty is threefold. I am process guide; I am learning/support group facilitator; I am quality standard upholder. I am not content help. I am not responsible for reminding you of everything you have or should have learned in your classes here at MIIS. Capstone is your chance to interrogate yourself, to look deep to see what you have and have not learned, to revisit previous class contents and tools. You should expect no new content, as a result, apart from – perhaps – public speaking and presentation/argumentation competencies.
While we have a formal weekly meeting time, we will not use it every week. Our schedule of meetings will be established month-by-month.
Spring 2014 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS