Abstract: Over the last fifteen years, the Russian government has invested significantly in improving Russia’s education and health care systems and in reversing the health and demographic catastrophes of the 1990s. This discussion will assess the extent to which those investments have paid off and the continued challenges Putin faces in aligning Russia’s human capital resources with his political, economic, and foreign policy ambitions. It will also examine the ways that health and social policy have been used as political tools – not always successfully – by the Putin regime.
Speaker Biography: Judy Twigg is a professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University; senior associate (non-resident) with the Center for Strategic and International Studies; consultant for the evaluation units of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank; and adjunct professor at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Twigg’s work focuses on issues of health, human capital, and health systems reform in Eurasia, as well as evaluations of human development and public sector management assistance projects globally. She has been a consultant for John Snow, Inc., UNICEF, USAID, the Eurasia Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Twigg was a 2005 recipient of the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. She holds a B.S. in physics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.A. in political science and Soviet studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in political science and security studies from MIT.