Transatlantic Fellows, June 2017

Participant Biographies

Maryna Bardina is the assistant to Serhii Leshchenko, a Member of Parliament in Ukraine who serves on the Anticorruption Committee. MP Leshchenko is also a leading national voice advocating for anti-corruption reform. Ms. Bardina’s work routinely involves assignments on anticorruption, communication with whistleblowers, media relations, and coordination with European and US counterpart organizations. Previously, she worked with the NDI team in Kyiv as an intern for the interfactional MP caucus in parliament called the EuroOptimists. She is an alum of the Association of Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Foundation and a member of the NGO, Poltava Platform. Ms. Bardina is involved in the local project StopCorrupt Portal in Poltava, Ukraine. She completed her MA in Sociology at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. She was awarded a Michael Swafford Scholarship by Kyiv’s International Institute of Sociology. In 2015, she graduated from the Visegrad Academy for Political Leadership.

Ms. Bardina was based out of the International Republican Institute during her fellowship.

Katarzyna Pisarska is the founder and director of the European Academy of Diplomacy in Warsaw, Poland and the Visegrad School of Political Studies, under the auspices of the Council of Europe. She is the program director at the highly-regarded international Warsaw Security Forum which gathers hundreds of senior level government, media, and think tank experts annually. She is an assistant professor at the Warsaw School of Economics, an associate scholar at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington DC, and a visiting professor at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku. She specializes in EU foreign policy, Eastern Partnership & Russia, and civil society development in the post-Soviet space. She previously served as an advisor to the Chair of Poland’s Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. She was selected as a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum in Davos (2014) and named one of the “99 most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33” by the Diplomatic Courier. Dr. Pisarska was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Harvard University (2007), a Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (2010) and at the University of Oslo (2012). She is a graduate of the University of Łódź (Poland). She earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the Warsaw School of Economics and an MA in European Politics and Administration from the College of Europe. Ms. Pisarska is the author of The Domestic Dimension of Public Diplomacy – evaluating success through civil engagement.

Dr. Pisarska worked with Senator Cory Booker on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during her fellowship.

Jonas Survila is a senior advisor to the chairman of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats Party with a focus on Lithuania’s and other Baltic states’ energy, information war, and foreign policies, as well as strategic communications in domestic politics. He has been a leading strategists in the effort to promote and incorporate the Magnitsky Act provisions into Lithuania's law and coordinated previous initiatives in the European Parliament. He is a Member of the Board and the Policy Committee with the HU-LCD Party. He is the former chief advisor and director of the office of Gabrielius Landsbergis, a Member of the European Parliament (2014-16). Mr. Survila was the principal strategist and coordinated preparation of the MEP’s report on the State of EU-Russia Relations which was adopted by a large majority (494 votes to 135) of the European Parliament. The report reassessed EU's relations with Russia in the context of the annexation of Crimea and aggression against Ukraine and proposed EU's policies in relation to Russia. He was also deeply involved in the development of the EP’s economic support program for Ukraine. From 2008-12 he was a senior political advisor of the Prime Minister of Lithuania Andrius Kubilius when major reforms and strategic projects of energy independence (LNG terminal, regaining assets control from Russia's Gazprom and liberalization of energy markets) were adopted. Mr. Survila has worked as a political communications trainer with Freedom House and the International Republican Institute’s democracy initiatives in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. He has a BA in Political Science from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University.

Mr. Survila spent his fellowship in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Oleksandra Ustinova is a Member of the Board of the Anticorruption Action Center in Ukraine where she directs communications strategies and advocacy campaigns. She also manages the Corruption in Healthcare Project which focuses on reforming the procurement process -- a major source of corruption and inefficiency within the country’s health care system. She is interested in working with counterparts in Congress, the SEC, think tanks, and the IMF to develop mechanisms and legislation to develop strategies that support domestic anti-corruption reform initiatives in Ukraine, including the establishment of an international “special anti-corruption court” that would pursue corruption cases independent of the national court system. Ms. Ustinova was the first secretary of the Civil Oversight Council at the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. She was one of the founders of the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center. She has an MA in Political Science from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

Ms. Ustinova worked with the Kleptocracy Initiative at Hudson Institute.

Veronika Víchová is an analyst at the Kremlin Watch Program at the European Values Think-Tank in Prague, Czech Republic. She focuses on policy measures and practical initiatives to counter the Kremlin’s disinformation operations in Europe. She has co-authored a study on how Kremlin propaganda portrays European leaders, which was published by the Atlantic Council. She joined the European Values Think-Tank at the end of 2014. She graduated from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.

Ms. Vichova spent her fellowship with Senator Rob Portman (Senate Foreign Relations Committee).

The Transatlantic Fellows Program is supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for Democracy.

For further information, please visit the program overview, or contact Caroline Lalonde.