All CDDRL News News August 24, 2020

Update on the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program

A short update from the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, including our reveal of the next cohort of fellows.

Photo of Nariman Ustaiev, Yulia Bezvershenko, and Denis Gutenko

A Note from the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program

To our supportive community,

On behalf of all of us at the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, we hope that you and your loved ones are remaining safe and healthy. We would like to provide you with a short update on the program.

Due to the evolving situation with COVID-19, our selected fellows in consultation with the program team have made the difficult decision to postpone the next year of the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program until 2021-22. The health of our fellows is most important, and recent limitations about in-person instruction would have made it impossible for our fellows to enjoy a fruitful experience this year.

That being said, we would still like to introduce you to our incoming class. We expect to be able to invite them for the 2021-22 academic year and sincerely hope you will join us in welcoming our incoming fellows at that point.

Finally, although we are deferring our fellows for a year, the Program will continue, and we hope the virtual format will provide new opportunities. We will keep you updated as to any program events we conduct over the course of this modified year.

We are very excited to have these three fellows join us as soon as it is safe and healthy to do so, and wish the circumstances would have allowed us to have them with us on campus sooner.

The Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program Team

Yulia Bezvershenko
Ministry of Education and Science 

Yulia BezvershenkoYulia Bezvershenko is Director General of Directorate for Science and Innovation at the Ministry of Education and Science. The Directorate was created for policy development and implementation in the research, development and innovation sector.  

Since the Revolution of Dignity, Bezvershenko has been deeply involved in the reform of science development and implementation process. Her mission is to build knowledge-based Ukraine as economy and society based on knowledge, science and innovation. She has contributed to the Law on Science, which was adopted by Parliament in 2015. In cooperation with scientists and reformers she developed and actively participated in the creation of two new institutions, the National Council on Science and Technology and the National Science Fund. Bezvershenko currently works both on implementation of the aforementioned law and on its future iterations.

Bezvershenko holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics (National Academy of Science of Ukraine) and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Governance from the Kyiv School of Economics. She has diverse experience in the research and development sector, having worked as a researcher at the Bogolyubov Institute as well as a senior lecturer on quantum theory at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Until 2019, Yulia was a Deputy Head of Young Scientists Council of National Academy of Science of Ukraine and Vice-President of NGO "Unia Scientifica" aimed to promote science and to advocate reform of science in Ukraine.




Denis Gutenko
State Fiscal Service/Ministry of Economy


Denis GutenkoDenis Gutenko joins CDDRL after most recently serving as the head of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine. Holding this position from 2019-20 he was responsible for dismantling the large-scale State Fiscal Service into three accountable units: Tax Administration, Customs and Tax police.

Before joining the State Fiscal Service, Gutenko had worked in the Ministry of Economy since 2015. Gutenko promoted deregulation and improvement of business climate agenda. He initiated and successfully lobbied Parliament to adopt laws on the liberalization of international trade and currency, the transparency of scrap metal exports, and the reform of a corrupt ecological tax policy. Gutenko also led the removal of administrative barriers and outdated currency restrictions, resulting in the increased flow of services and payments for Ukrainian freelancers and small and medium enterprises.

Prior to this Gutenko began his career in the private sector as a banker, auditor and agribusiness manager, experiences that sparked his interest in improving the Ukrainian state bureaucracy and fighting widespread corruption.

Gutenko’s focus while at CDDRL will be on good governance and public administration reform, both of which remain significant opportunities and challenges for Ukraine. He looks forward to being an active member of Leadership Network for Change, and to continuing to challenge himself while at Stanford.



Nariman Ustaiev
Gasprinski Institute

Nariman UstaievNariman Ustaiev is co-founder and Director at Gasprinski Institute for Geostrategy. He is also an external advisor for the Committee on Human Rights, Deoccupation and Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories in Donetsk, Luhansk Regions and Autonomous Republic of Crimea, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. 

His work explores the multiple dimensions of Ukraine’s foreign and security policy and their intersection with good governance based on human rights. His areas of expertise are foreign policy; political and security challenges in the Black Sea Region; and human rights and Crimean Tatar issues. 

Prior to this Nariman had worked for governmental institutions responsible for Ukraine’s security policy, namely the National Security and Defense Council, the Secretariat of the Cabinet Ministers and the State Service for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol for many years. 

Nariman graduated from the Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Academy for Foreign Trade and Kyiv-Mohyla Business School.