April 9, 2009
Andrew Weiss, an expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union, has been named executive director of the RAND Business Leaders Forum and the director of the RAND Center for Russia and Eurasia, RAND Corporation President and CEO James A. Thomson announced today.
Weiss succeeds the late Jeremy Azrael, who died last month. Weiss, a former Russia expert on the U.S. National Security Council staff, also will work on international affairs, energy and other projects for RAND, a nonprofit research organization. He will be based in RAND's Arlington, VA, office.
"Andrew Weiss' many years of work in Russian and Eurasian affairs for the U.S. government and his business experience make him an ideal choice to leads these important efforts," Thomson said.
The RAND Center for Russia and Eurasia provides policymakers, scholars and business leaders with an in-depth understanding of processes in Russia and the new independent states in Eurasia.
The RAND Business Leaders Forum, which was founded by Azrael following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, is a semi-annual economic forum that brings together business and political leaders from Russia, Europe and America for regular exchanges in Moscow and New York. Weiss worked with Azrael to organize the last forum and contributed toward preparations toward the next one scheduled for May.
Weiss' career has been divided between government service and the financial sector. From 2002 until 2008, Weiss was an investment strategist and researcher on commodities, energy, and foreign exchange markets for American International Group Inc.
His government service has focused on U.S. policy toward Russia and the former Soviet Union. From 1998 to 2001, he served as the director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council staff. Weiss also was a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff from 1994 to 1998, a policy assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 1992 to 1994, and a budget analyst in the Department of the Army from 1991 to 1992.
Weiss received a bachelor's degree in Russian regional studies from Columbia University, a master's degree from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, and a certificate from the W. Averell Harriman Institute for the Advanced Study of the Soviet Union.