Welcome AABS 2020–2022 Board of Directors!

Apr 6, 2020

The election of the AABS 2020-2022 Board of Directors was held on April 1, 2020 with online voting beginning on March 18. For the first time in the organization’s history, the election was carried out both online and via mailed-in paper ballots.

Altogether, 149 AABS current members (50.85% of the total number of current AABS members) participated in the election – the vast majority of them (144) online. All seven candidates set by the AABS Nominating Committee received over 97% votes each and will thus assume office starting from July 1, 2020. AABS thanks the candidates and everyone who participated in the election.

The AABS Nominating Committee is pleased to announce that the following candidates were elected to serve on the 2020–2022 AABS Board of Directors:


Dovilė Budrytė, Georgia Gwinnett College

Dovilė Budrytė (PhD, Old Dominion University) served as Vice President of Publications on the AABS board in 2016-2018 and 2018-2020. She is Professor of Political Science and Chair of Faculty (Political Science) at Georgia Gwinnett College. She has published articles and books on various topics related to minority rights and memory politics in Lithuania, including Memory and Trauma in International Relations: Theories, Cases and Debates (co-editor with Erica Resende, Routledge 2013), and Crisis and Change in Post-Cold War Global Politics: Ukraine in a Comparative Perspective (co-edited with Erica Resende and Didem Buhari, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). In 2014/15, she was the recipient of the University System of Georgia Excellence in Teaching Award.

Vice-President for Professional Development

Ineta Dabašinskienė, Vytautas Magnus University

Ineta Dabašinskienė (PhD, Vytautas Magnus University) is Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Multilingualism Research Center at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas. Her research interests are related to socio- and psycholinguistics, especially to first and second language acquisition, language use and variation, multilingualism and language policy. She has taught and carried out research at various universities in Europe and the USA. She has also led or coordinated several national and international research and educational projects.

Vice-President for Conferences

Laura Dean, Millikin University

Laura Dean (PhD, University of Kansas) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Millikin University and starting in August 2020 she will be an Associate Professor of Political Science. She is also a Regional Faculty Associate at the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In 2016, she was a Title VIII Summer Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute part of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She researches gender and politics issues focusing on public policy, migration, and gender based violence in the Baltic States and Eurasia. Her research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, American Association of University Women, Fulbright Program, Rotary Foundation, and published in a variety of journals including the Journal of Baltic Studies. Her forthcoming book Diffusing Human Trafficking Policy in Eurasia (Policy Press, University of Bristol, distributed by the University of Chicago Press, forthcoming May 2020) examines the adoption and implementation of human trafficking policy and the resulting institutions and networks.

Vice-President for Publications

Ausra Park, Siena College

Ausra Park (PhD, University of South Carolina) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Siena College in New York, USA. She has received her Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of South Carolina. She is a recipient of a Fulbright US Scholar award, International Education Exchange Board (IREX) grant, the German Marshall Fund of the United States Dissertation Research Fellowship, American Councils for International Education Advanced Research Fellowship, and other research grants. Her research interests are centered on small post-communist European states, top political leadership profiling, comparative foreign policy, social justice (specifically, human trafficking in Eastern European region), and international political economy. Her work has appeared in leading international journals such as Demokratizatsiya, Journal of Baltic Studies, East European Politics, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, European Security, East European Quarterly, and online publications though U.S. think tanks (i.e., Foreign Policy Research Institute and Presidential Power blog). Her current research focuses on the first female Eastern European presidents that recently came to power (case studies of Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Croatia, Estonia, Slovakia, and Georgia) and the impact as well as legacies they have had on the presidential office; and on small state status-seeking (a case study of Lithuania).


Ieva Zake, Millersville University

Ieva Zaķe (PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst) currently serves as Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Millersville University. She was previously Vice Provost at The College of New Jersey, and professor of sociology and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at Rowan University. She is an author of American Latvians: Politics of a Refugee Community and Anti-Communist Minorities in the US: Political Activism of Ethnic Refugees as well as numerous articles dealing with issues of nationalism in Latvia during the inter-war period, intellectuals in politics, post-communist politics, tourism to the USSR during the cold war era and post-World War II Eastern European immigrants in the US.


Ugis Sprūdžs, CFA

Uģis Sprūdžs, CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) is currently Senior Manager at Allstate. He has over thirty years’ experience working as a manager and data analyst. He earned his BA, MAT, and MBA (1984) at the University of Chicago, where he studied Finance, Econometrics, Education, and German. Sprūdžs is also an active member of the American Latvian community; he served as president, investment adviser, and auditor of the Latvian Foundation (1997-2003) and is a discussion leader of the Chicago Latvian Literary Club. Sprūdžs is the author of “Ziedonis, Pauls: ‘Holy Eves’: A Poem and Its Metamorphosis in Song,” in Imants Ziedonis. Search for Belonging, Practice of Freedom, edited by Ausma Cimdiņa. Rīga: Zinātne, 2014

Student Representative

Kristo Nurmis, Stanford University

Kristo Nurmis is a PhD candidate at Stanford University in Russian and Eastern European history. He obtained his BA and MA degrees at the history department of University of Tartu, has studied at Freie Universität in Berlin, and spent a year as a Fulbright visiting researcher at Harvard University. He has published articles on German propaganda in Estonia during the Second World War and is working on a dissertation project that examines the entangled history of Soviet and German rule in the Baltic States in World War II. In recent years, he has developed a growing interest in the history of Soviet republican cinemas, in particular the Soviet-era national cinemas of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Automatic change of status from President-Elect:


Daunis Auers, University of Latvia

Daunis Auers (PhD, University College London) is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Latvia. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California-Berkeley (2005-2006) and a Baltic-American Freedom Foundation Scholar at Wayne State University in Detroit (2014). He has published widely on political parties, elections and referendums as well as populism and the radical right in Baltic and European politics. His most recent book – The Comparative Government and Politics of the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the 21st Century – was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. Much of his recent research has been more policy-oriented, focusing on the growth and economic impact of international students in Latvia, projections of Latvia’s demographic future and studies of the competitiveness of the city of Riga.

Automatic change of status from President:


Andres Kasekamp, University of Toronto

Andres Kasekamp (PhD, University College London) is the Chair of Estonian Studies and Professor of History at the University of Toronto. Previously, he was the Professor of Baltic Politics at the University of Tartu and Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute. He has served as the Editor of the Journal of Baltic Studies and is currently President-Elect of AABS. He is the author of numerous publications. His most recent book A History of the Baltic States, 2nd updated edition (Palgrave, 2018), has been translated into nine languages and received several awards, including the Baltic Assembly’s Science Prize.

Defining Latvia: Recent Explorations in History, Culture, and Politics Receives AABS Book Publication Subvention

The AABS Board is pleased to announce that Central European University Press has been awarded the AABS Book Publication Subvention for publishing Defining Latvia: Recent Explorations in History, Culture, and Politics, a collection of articles edited by Michael Loader, Siobhán Hearne, and Matthew Kott.