Young Professionals Network Welcomes Bright Alumni from Central Asia Youth Leadership Academy

January 30, 2024
A collage of headshots featuring 6 young leaders from Central Asia, 3 women and 3 men.

Eurasia Foundation’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) unites diverse cohorts of emerging leaders in the field of international affairs with seasoned experts. This month, YPN’s 2023-2024 cohort expanded to include 6 graduates of Eurasia Foundation’s Central Asia Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA). These alumni are serving as CAYLA Ambassadors and Vice Ambassadors and represent Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

Yusup Agajanov of Turkmenistan taught English in local villages through his Lights of the Future project. He also trained 20 young people in tour-guiding skills, equipping them for future employment. He is a teacher at Ashgabat’s International School.

Madina Mustafina of Turkmenistan coordinates volunteers and social programs at Yenme. She is a certified trainer and led a project to help young people develop their soft skills. Madina also expanded her environmental expertise through CAYLA’s internship initiative.

Nargiza Rakhmanova of Uzbekistan heads the Sogdiana Women’s Center and has initiated 8 social projects that benefitted 600 people. She inspired a fellow CAYLA alumna to start a civil society organization in Uzbekistan’s Navoi region.

Assylan Smagulov of Kazakhstan founded the organization Voice of Youth and advocates for students’ rights. His project promoting free travel for children in Karaganda has benefitted over 100,000 young people.

Maiya Suyunchaliyeva of Kazakhstan founded the initiatives 4Grants and Tourism and Smart Cities. She manages projects at the Institute of Green and Sustainable Development at Kazakh National Agrarian Research University. Maiya holds various international leadership roles and won the US’s International Visitor Leadership Program in 2021.

Mahmudjon Utkurov of Uzbekistan co-founded the Young Manager program to create professional development opportunities for young people in Uzbekistan. He also led language camps for over 750 participants through Uzbekistan’s Youth Affairs Agency.

Learn more about Eurasia Foundation’s Young Professionals Network and read the CAYLA Ambassador’s full bios on the YPN 2023-2024 page.