Kazakhstan in the Soviet and Post-Soviet World


Ambassador John Ordway

U.S. Department of State, retired

Friday January 26, 2024


Kazakhstan is a historically, culturally, and resource-rich country in Central Asia; the largest of the five former Soviet Republics in Central Asia. Now independent, it finds itself between two giant neighbors: Russia and China.

Our guest, Ambassador John Ordway, served as U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan from 2004 to 2008. He was also Chargé d`Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan for two extended periods: January-September 2011 and October 2013–December 2014. In his illustrated presentation, Ambassador Ordway discusses how Kazakhstan’s geographic fate, and its multi-ethnic character, dictate a careful and balanced approach to ensuring its independence and prosperity in a modern world.

Ambassador Ordway has an extensive background in the Soviet and post-Soviet world, with in-depth experience in a broad range of issues ranging from arms control and nonproliferation, to investment disputes and energy, as well as domestic politics and human rights. A career Foreign Service Officer, in addition to his assignments in Kazakhstan, he also served as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Deputy Chief of Mission in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, in the U.S. embassies in Prague, Sofia, Vienna, and Kathmandu, and the U.S. Mission to NATO. Ambassador Ordway graduated from Stanford University and the University of California’s Hastings College of Law. He resides in Sacramento, California.

Date and Times

  • Friday, January 26, 2024
  • 11:15 AM Registration
  • 11:45 AM Lunch
  • 12:45 – 2:00 PM Speaker Presentation


  • Salad: Butter Lettuce Salad with Roasted Beets, California Goat Cheese & Citrus Vinaigrette
  • Bread and butter
  • Entree: Maple & Mustard Glazed Salmon with Basmati Rice & Stir-Fried Vegetables
  • Vegetarian Alternative: Maple & Mustard Glazed Roasted Cauliflower “Steaks” with Basmati Rice & Stir-Fried Vegetables
  • Dessert: Raspberry Cheesecake Swirl with Chocolate Drizzle and Mint


  • $36 for World Affairs Council members
  • $41 for guests

Vaccination Requirements

Until further notice, documentation of COVID vaccination will not be required to attend in-person events.


Please Note: Our registration desk and name tag pick up has moved inside the Big Sur Room.

WACMB will accept auditors to this event. Auditors will be allowed entry at 12:20 pm.

If you wish to audit the presentation, or if you encounter difficulties with registration, please email info@wacmb.org by the registration deadline.

Registrations are now closed.


Big Sur Room

Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
1000 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93923

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