Javid Valiyev

Head of department

Dr. Cavid Veliyev is the head of a department at the AIR Center. He worked previously for the Center for Strategic Studies (SAM) under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan as a researcher (2009-2015) and afterwards as the head of Foreign Policy Analysis Department (2015-2019). Dr. Veliyev also served as an editor in chief of Caucasus International Journal between September 2017 and January 2019. Between June 2017 and January 2019 he was the representative of OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions. In 2005-2009, he served as the head of the South Caucasus Department at the National Security Strategic Research Center of Turkey (TUSAM). He has authored number of academic and editorial articles. He has co-edited the books South Caucasus: Energy, Geopolitics Rivalry and Territorial Integrity (Ankara, 2011), Turkey-Azerbaijan Relations (Ankara, 2012) and Azerbaijan Foreign Policy: 1991-2018 (Baku, 2018). He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from Ankara University in 2013. Cavid Valiyev has frequently published on the Caucasus International Journal, Hurriyet Daily News, Cumhuriyyet Strateji, Jamestown Foundation, National Interests, Yeni Safak, Anadolu Agency, Karar on Turkey and South Caucasus region. Dr. Veliyev has been awarded “Taraggi” (“Progress” (10 November 2017)) and "100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-2018)” Medals by the President of Azerbaijan for his effective role in the socio-political life of the country.

Direction: Azerbaijan Foreign Policy, Geopolitics in South Caucasus, Internal and external policy of Turkey, Azerbaijan-Turkey relations

Fuad Chiragov

Head of department

Fuad Chiragov is Head of Regional Security Department at the Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center) since March 2019. He has been in think-tank industry for over nine years. At AIR Center his research assignment includes Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Georgian foreign and domestic politics, US foreign and national security policy; and regional security. Before joining think tank industry in Azerbaijan, Mr. Chiragov lectured at different universities of Azerbaijan where he taught courses on U.S. foreign policy and national security, the U.S. South Caucasus policy. F. Chiragov earned his Bachelor degree in History from Baku State University, and Master degrees in International Affairs from Baku State University and Columbia University in the US. He is a regular contributor on US foreign policy, regional security and conflicts in the South Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Middle East to local and international media and analytical publications.

Direction: Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, the US foreign and national security policy, the US-Azerbaijan relations, Georgian domestic and foreign policy, Georgian-Azerbaijan relations

Masiagha Mahammadi

Senior Advisor

Masiagha Mahammadi was born in 1963. He earned his Bachelor degree in Oriental Studies from Baku State University and PhD in Philology from Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. Masiagha Mahammadi is a Senior advisor at the Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center). Previously he worked for Baku Higher Combined Arms Command School as Associate Professor of foreign language, Institute of Oriental Studies as Head of department of Iran philology and as a Senior research fellow for Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan Republic.

Direction: Iran’s domestic and foreign policy, Iran’s regional policy, Azerbaijan-Iran relations

Vasif Huseynov

Senior Advisor

Dr. Vasif Huseynov, a senior research fellow at the AIR Center, focuses on the EU – Azerbaijan relations and the international security in the South Caucasus. He has previously worked for the Center for Strategic Studies (SAM), Khazar University and ADA University. He holds BA in International Relations from the Academy of Public Administration in Baku, MA in Global Political Economy from University of Kassel (Germany), and PhD in Political Science from University of Goettingen (Germany). His MA and PhD studies were supported by the full scholarships of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). His book “Geopolitical Rivalries in the ‘Common Neighborhood’: Russia’s Conflict with the West, Soft Power, and Neoclassical Realism” was published in 2019.

Direction: EU – Azerbaijan relations and the international security in the South Caucasus

Afsana Mammadova

Leading Advisor

Afsana Mammadova is a leading expert in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) at the AIR Center. She specializes in policy analysis, research, and planning methods. Her current research focuses on socio-political, security and religious transformations, and conflict dynamics in the MENA region. In parallel, she is doing a post-doc at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. Her project explores the roots of Azerbaijani Turks in the MENA region and South Asia. Before joining the AIR Center, she was a Middle East analyst at the Center of Strategic Studies (SAM). She held different positions such as a Project Manager at the IC-YF, a Deputy Director at the Center for Islamic Studies, a Senior Research Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, etc. She is a researcher with 15 years of experience in cultural, social and policy investigation of the Islamic world. Dr.Mammadova's academic background contains lectures on Multiculturalism and Globalization in Lithuania’s top universities in 2016. She has BA and MA degrees in Middle East Studies from the Baku State University, doctorate, and post-doctorate in the World Cultures and Philosophy from Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and University of London (SOAS). She is an author of more than 40 articles in different topics related to the Islamic world, also 3 books, and a playscript. She has been granted the Best young scholar award from the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan, the Jubilee medal of the 100th anniversary of  the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, and etc.

Direction: The Middle East and North Africa, Non-aligned Movement

Orkhan Bagirov

Leading Advisor

Orkhan Baghirov joined AIR Center as a Leading advisor in July 2019. He formerly worked for Center for Strategic Studies (SAM) as a research fellow and for Center for Strategic Communications as an expert-analyst. He also has experience in banking sector. His research at AIR Center covers regional and international economic relations, transportation projects and economic relations with China. In his previous capacities, Orkhan’s research also included macroeconomics, public finance, monetary policy, economic diversification, multilateral financial organizations. Orkhan is PhD candidate in Economics and holds MBA from Park University of USA. He acquired bachelor and master degrees from Azerbaijan State University of Economics. Orkhan is a contributing analyst for the Jamestown Foundation's Eurasia Daily Monitor. He has published numerous articles and participated in several book projects as a co-author.

Direction: Regional economic relations (South Caucasus), international economic relations (implications for South Caucasus), China’s economic policy in South Caucasus, transportation corridors (Belt and Road Initiative, North-South transportation corridor etc.

Shahmar Hajiyev

Leading Advisor

Shahmar Hajiyev is a Leading Specialist at the Center of Analysis of International Relations. His field of research includes energy politics, transport and energy security issues, renewables and green economy. He participated at the Analyst and Business Development Program of US-based STRATFOR, (Strategic Forecasting Inc.), and also worked as an individual consultant of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).  In addition, he is Vice-Chairman Azerbaijan-China Cooperation Public Union. Published numerous articles on politics, labor market, migration, energy security issues, energy economics, etc.. He holds MA degree in International Economic and Political Studies from Charles University in Prague.

Direction: Energy and transport projects

Naghi Ahmadov

Leading advisor

Naghi Ahmadov is a leading advisor at the AIR Center, focusing on international security issues, great power politics and global governance. He has a special interest in the Asia-Pacific Region and deals with a broad range of China-related subjects. Prior to joining the AIR Center, he worked as a senior research fellow for three years at Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.

Naghi Ahmadov holds a BA in Political Science and graduated with a MSc in Conflict Studies from the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. His master’s thesis concerned global security and military conflicts. He has concluded a one-year intensive Chinese language course at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology. He is currently a PhD Candidate in International Politics at the School of Political Science and Public Administration at Shandong University, China. He is a recipient of MOFCOM Scholarship set up by Ministry of Commerce of People's Republic of China.

Direction: International security issues, terrorism, great power politics, global governance

Ilaha Huseynova


Ilaha Huseynova is an Advisor at the Baku-based Center of Analysis of International Relations and Assistant Editor for the Caucasus International Journal. She is a contributor to the review process in the peer-review journals, including the International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society (the USA) and the IAPSS Journal of Political Science (Netherlands). She has a Master’s degree in International Relations and Regional Studies from the University of Tartu, Estonia and BA/MA from Baku State University.

Direction: Broader Caucasus region, mainly focusing on the memory & religion politics in the (North/South) Caucasus

Roza Asgerova


Roza Asgarova is an Advisor in the Center of Analysis of international Relations, focusing on diaspora issues. Previously she worked as an information analyst in the Center of Strategic Communications NGO and interned in ADA University, Executive Power of Narimanov district and the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. She has Bachelor’s degree in Political Studies from the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Master’s degree in International Relations from Budapest Business School, Hungary.

Direction: Diaspora issues


27 May 2020

Does Armenia Want an Integrative or Punitive Solution?

When Armenia occupied about 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories in the consequence of the military assault against the latter and the resulting active military hostilities at the beginning ...
27 May 2020

The Increasing Role of Azerbaijan as a Regional Digital Hub

  On April 10, the Azerbaijani parliament ratified and President Ilham Aliyev approved a law for laying a trans-Caspian fiber-optic cable across the bottom of the Caspian Sea between ...
22 May 2020

Liberal Values Cannot Be Built Upon Occupation And Ethnic Cleansing – OpEd

On May 21, 2020, the Armenian occupation force held the so-called inauguration of a newly elected leader of the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. This was the result of illegal ...