About the Alfa Fellowship Alumni Association

The Alfa Fellowship Alumni Association (AFAA) is a non-profit and non-partisan organization that represents the growing community of Alfa Fellowship Program alumni. The Alfa Fellowship Program a unique, high-level professional development program established in 2004 by Alfa Bank, which places young professionals from the U.S., U.K., and, as of this year, Germany in professional assignments at leading organizations in Russia in the fields of business, economics, journalism, law, and public policy.The Association was established in 2008 and has since expanded to include over 100 members. The AFAA is governed by a Board of Directors, directly elected by Alfa Fellowship Program alumni.The names and offices of the Board of Directors are as follows:

Maria Mammina, President

Maria Mammina is an editor at EurasiaNet.org, an online media outlet providing news and analysis from the Eurasian region. Prior to EurasiaNet, Maria worked as a program specialist in the Open Society Foundations’ Eurasia Program on the anticorruption, human rights, and independent media portfolios. Outside of work, she consults on communications and social media strategy for small businesses and studies photography.

During her time on the Alfa Fellowship Program (2013-2014), Maria worked as an account executive in the corporate communications and government relations practices at PBN Hill + Knowlton Strategies. While there, she was part of a small press team that launched the YotaPhone in the international market. Prior to the Alfa Fellowship, Maria coordinated civic engagement and policy initiatives in state and regional politics in Washington State.

Maria holds a BA in English Literature from University of Washington in Seattle. She earned her MA from Stanford University’s Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. 

Andrew Bogrand, Vice President, Program Development

Andrew Bogrand is a Communications and Outreach Officer at Democracy International, an international organization that works to advance human rights, good governance, and peacebuilding efforts in conflict, post-conflict, and transitioning environments. He supports the organization's government and congressional relations, technical leadership, and field-based communications, including in Afghanistan.

Prior to DI, Andrew was an Alfa Fellow with the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, where he monitored human rights developments in Russia, Ukraine, and in the Caucasus, and provided assistance on regional advocacy projects. Before his work in Moscow, he was a Public Relations Coordinator at Refugee Transitions, the largest community-based refugee agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has additionally worked on a California political campaign.

Andrew earned his M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Stanford University and his B.A. in History and Government from Claremont McKenna College. 

Alisa Lockwood, Vice President, Ombudsman

Alisa has more than 13 years of experience in political risk, market entry and due diligence. She is currently applying this knowledge as Chief Strategic Adviser at Global Risk Insights, a world-leading publication for political risk news and analysis.

Previously, as Head of Europe/CIS Country Risk at IHS Global, Alisa advised major corporate clients on political and security risks in the region, notably she was responsible for producing risk ratings, commercially-relevant forecasts and analysis. She led the development of the counter party risk assessment product and managed global investigations. Alisa has frequently appeared on Bloomberg, CNBC and Sky News among others.

On the Alfa Programme, Alisa's placement was at the European External Action Service in Moscow. She has also worked at the Senate of Canada.

Alisa holds a BSS in International Relations and Political Science from the University of Ottawa and an MA in Political Science and Government from the University of Toronto.

Chris Miller, Secretary

Dr. Chris Miller is the Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale.

He has previously served as a lecturer at the New Economic School in Moscow, a visiting researcher and the Carnegie Moscow Center, and a research associate at the Brookings Institution. He has held fellowships from the German Marshall Fund and the Hoover Institution.

His first book, The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR, was published in 2016.

Chris received his PhD and MA from Yale University and his BA in history from Harvard University.

Jeffrey Drotar, Treasurer

Jeffrey Drotar is a senior analyst in corporate planning for Intuitive Surgical in Sunnyvale, California (San Francisco Bay Area). Prior to joining Intuitive Surgical, Jeffrey worked as an equity research associate covering the US electric utilities and independent power sectors for BMO Capital Markets in New York.

Jeffrey was an Alfa Fellow with Class #10 (2012-2013). As part of his fellowship, Jeffrey worked as an equity research associate for Deutsche Bank in Moscow covering the Russian and Central European consumer retail and healthcare sectors. Prior to the fellowship, Jeffrey spent several years in sell-side equity research covering various sectors for banks in Moscow and New York.

Jeffrey earned his MBA degree in finance in 2012 from Fordham University's Gabelli School of Business in New York. Jeffrey also holds a BA in economics and a BA in Russian and Eastern European studies from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.