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Photo: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Professor Emeritus, Colgate University, Maine

C.V. Starr Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2006

Martha Brill Olcott is professor emeritus in the department of political science at Colgate University, where she taught from 1974 to 2001. She was chairman of the department from July 1984 through June 1990. Until recently, she was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC.


Olcott received her BA from SUNY Buffalo in 1970, and her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1978. In July 1994 Olcott was named by President Clinton to be a director of the Central Asian American Enterprise Fund, on whose board she served until 2000, having been named vice chairman in 1999. Earlier she held a formal appointment as consultant on Central Asian Affairs for former Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. Olcott has also served as a consultant for a number of business firms interested in central Asia, including Unocal, Placer Dome, and Cameco.


She has published some fifty articles in academic journals and books and is the author of Central Asia’s Second Chance, Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise; The Kazaks; The New States of Central Asia; and is a co-author of Getting It Wrong: Regional Cooperation and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

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