Suren Avanesyan

Professorial Lecturer

Part-time Faculty


Suren Avanesyan currently serves as Division Chief of the Democracy and Governance Division in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Mr. Avanesyan is a senior foreign policy and foreign assistance expert with significant experience working in the inter-agency, advising and guiding senior staff, managing complex programs and leading teams of seasoned professionals. He has two decades of experience working in Russia, Ukraine, the Former Soviet Union, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe. Mr. Avanesyan led the USAID Tiger Team in support of the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), Jake Sullivan, on Ukraine and Russia. He served as member of the USAID core group of drafters of the most recent USAID Rule of Law Policy and supported the work of the Administrator’s Anti-Corruption Task Force (ACTF) and President’s Summit for Democracy.

Mr. Avanesyan served as a Senior Advisor in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Office of Russian Affairs in the Department of State. A senior USG Russia expert, Mr. Avanesyan actively participates in the interagency and has been a member of numerous NSC-led IPC and sub-IPC processes. A recognized authority in rule of law, he provided technical oversight of USAID rule of law and anti-corruption programs in a dozen countries.

Mr. Avanesyan directed complex justice sector reform programs in Kosovo. He is a fluent Russian speaker. Prior to joining USAID, he worked in the World Bank and in several for-profit and not-for-profit non-governmental organizations in Washington, DC.

MA (1998) and JD (1999), the University of Wisconsin-Madison
LL.M. in International Legal Studies (2001) at New York University School of Law.