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Bryan Furman

MAERES Class of 2016

I was born and raised in New Jersey, where I studied international relations and psychology at The College of New Jersey
(TCNJ). Throughout my undergraduate career, I focused on
intergroup attitudes in post-Soviet Russia and Central Asia,
and I was able to conduct social psychological research on
Russian-Muslim relations as a 2011-2012 Boren Scholar in
Moscow.

C E RE S S t u d e n t P r o f i l e

After graduating from TCNJ in 2013, I investigated the influence of donor organizations on the development of the Tajik
mental health sector as a Fulbright U.S. Student in Tajikistan.
I simultaneously collaborated with the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Agency for International Development missions in Dushanbe on public affairs, health, and education initiatives.
I knew very little about the CERES region until I stumbled upon a Nowruz celebration at The College of New Jersey. The professor who had organized the event caught me on my way to class and
urged me to register for Persian-language courses and a faculty-led study tour to Uzbekistan in 2010.
An impressionable freshman, I agreed. Traveling to Uzbekistan changed my life: I switched focus
from criminal psychology to post-Soviet studies, which has remained my academic concentration
ever since.
CERES offers the best mix of professional and academic training on the market. More than any
other program, CERES gives students the opportunity to acquire both practical and multidisciplinary analytical skillsets directly related to their career goals. Furthermore, CERES students can
take courses in the broader School of Foreign Service and thus have the freedom to specialize in a
wide variety of areas. For example, I study strategic communications in the post-Soviet space. Because I plan to join the U.S. Foreign Service as a Public Diplomacy Officer with tours concentrated
in Eurasia, I wanted to understand how local and international governmental and nongovernmental
actors influence behavior through media.
To augment my CERES experience, I am currently interning on the Ukraine-Russia Coordination
Team at the U.S. Department of State, where I will continue to work on Russian and Ukrainian
affairs through winter 2015. I am also working to organize a graduate student conference hosted by
CERES and IERES, its GW counterpart, to give students more practice presenting their research
and allow them wider recognition for their academic accomplishments.
As a Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellow, I will join the U.S. Foreign Service in fall
2016. I intend to pursue the public diplomacy career track and focus my tours in the Eurasian region
so that I can apply my area studies knowledge and strategic communications concentration on the
job.