ISET

November 15-16 witnessed the largest and most high-profile event of ISET’s year: the first international conference on gender economics entitled ‘Removing Obstacles to Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment’. The two-day event, hosted by ISET and the FREE Network (the Forum for Research On Eastern Europe and Emerging Economies), attracted academics from 14 countries, including Australia, India, Canada, the countries of the South Caucasus, Eastern and Western Europe.

The conference began with an opening address from Dr. Tamar Sulukhia, Director of ISET, who thanked ISET partners and the conference’s main sponsor, the Swedish government, for its support and commitment to the issues of women’s empowerment in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Dr. George Sharvashide, Rector of TSU, Mr. Erik Illes, Head of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and Ms. Ekaterine Mikabadze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, also addressed the guests in attendance highlighting the importance of the topic.

Almost as soon as they are through the front doors, new arrivals to ISET are told that the institute is like a family, and it does not take long before the truth of these words is proved. ISET alumni frequently come back to visit, and not just to pay friendly visits to their old professors: many have gone on to work prestigious jobs in both the government and private sectors, or earn PhDs in American and European universities, and so return to ISET to present on topics that will be of interest to the community, both old and new.

Yet this does not just apply to students – it is equally true for former faculty. Adam Pellillo, now of La Salle University in Philadelphia, worked at ISET for several years, and now happily returns to lecture as a visiting faculty member. On June 22, Adam came back to ISET to present his ongoing research project into health insurance coverage in Georgia.

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