Editor’s Pick: Alumnus Launches Leaders Academy in Native Kyrgyz Republic

21 February 2018

By Jay Hodgkins

Hailing from a country that he says has struggled to rise from widespread poverty, University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus Seyitbek Usmanov (MBA ’15) wanted to do something to help improve leadership in his native Kyrgyz Republic.

So after his time at Darden, he founded the Kyrgyz Leaders Academy to help talented Kyrgyz students navigate the path to top universities in the United States and other developed countries. He described his hopes for the academy in a Q&A on the Darden Center for Global Initiatives blog Global Voices of Darden in 2016, and the organization continues to mentor and advise Kyrgyz students today.

What do many great leaders of developing countries have in common? For example, leaders like Lee Kuan Yew, Mikhail Saakashvili, Mahatma Gandhi. They were all educated in the U.S. or the U.K. at great universities. Kyrgyz Republic needs such a great leader to propel our country from third world to the first world. We have been mired in poverty and corruption for too long! Although we have many talented high school students in Kyrgyz Republic, very few of those students come to study in U.S. Why? It is not that they do not want to achieve or grow. It is that the whole college application process is simply too confusing. Even the smartest students are baffled by the likes of SATs and recommendation letters!  Kyrgyz Leaders Academy is the solution. Our short term goal is to prepare students to   top U.S. universities with full scholarship. We hope that our student’s potential blossoms in business, technology, or sciences. In the long term, we hope that our students become next generation of Kyrgyz Republic’s leaders.

Read the full Q&A on Global Voices of Darden.

Europe, Asia
About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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