Yuri Urbanovich was born in 1950 in Tbilisi, the capital city of the Republic of Georgia. He is a citizen of the United States of America.
Yuri Urbanovich received his M.A. in International Relations (IR) from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) in 1972 and his Ph.D. in International Relations (IR) from the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983.
From 1972 to 1975 Yuri Urbanovich worked at the regional office of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade in the Republic of Lithuania, and from 1976 to 1980 at the International Relations Division of the USSR Union of Cooperatives in Moscow.
After graduating from the Ph.D. program, Dr. Urbanovich was invited to teach at the Diplomatic Academy. His academic interests were focused on disarmament issues, theory and technique of international negotiation, and conflict resolution. From 1986 to 1987 he served as consultant to the Soviet Delegation at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament.
In 1990, Dr. Urbanovich participated as a negotiation trainer and consultant in the first joint Soviet-American workshop on diplomatic negotiations, The Atlantic to the Urals, a landmark collaboration initiated by the Harvard Negotiation Project and hosted by Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for Advanced Studies of the Soviet Union (as it was then called).
In 1992, Dr. Urbanovich was invited by the University of Virginia’s Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction (CSMHI) to participate in and coordinate a multi-year project in the newly independent Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. This project was aimed at promoting Russian-Baltic dialogues, defusing detrimental nationalistic tendencies, and enabling a “velvet divorce” from the former Soviet Union.
In 1993, at President Jimmy Carter’s invitation, Dr. Urbanovich participated in a working session on the Caucasus at the second Consultation of the International Negotiation Network at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1995, Dr. Urbanovich was invited by President Jimmy Carter to serve as a consultant of his representative on a trip to the Republic of Georgia for preliminary assessment of the relations between the opposing sides (Georgians and Abkhazians) after the brutal conflict of the early 1990s.
Until October 1999, Dr. Urbanovich was co-director of CSMHI’s conflict resolution program in the Republic of Georgia. In 1999-2000, he directed an interdisciplinary project entitled “Political Identity, National Interests, and Foreign Policy” at the University of Virginia which focused on controversial issues of contemporary international politics.
Since 2000, Dr. Urbanovich has served as Lecturer in the Departments of Politics, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the School of Continuing & Professional Studies (BIS) at the University of Virginia. His courses and seminars include:
- Nationalism in World Affairs
- U.S. – Russian Relations
- The Cold War
- America Through Russian Eyes
- Russian Politics
- Russia in World Affairs
- Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union
- The Caucasus in World Affairs
- Understanding Russia: Symbols, Myths and Archetypes of Identity
- The Fate of Jews in the Russian Empire, the USSR and the Post-Soviet Region
- Post-Soviet Political Challenges: Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, Separatism and Irredentism
- The Ukraine Crisis: East and West
In addition, Dr. Urbanovich has also been invited by other institutions such as the FBI Academy and the National War College to conduct seminars and deliver lectures. Since 1993, he has been invited on a regular basis to give talks and participate in seminars at the Federal Executive Institute (Charlottesville, VA). In March 2014, he participated in American Forum – The Mind of Vladimir Putin. This event was organized by the Miller Center’s American Forum, the one-hour public-affairs television program taped before a live audience and broadcasted on more than 90 PBS stations around the U.S.
Yuri Urbanovich is the author of numerous publications on the problems of disarmament, international negotiations, national negotiating styles, nationalism and ethnic conflict, societies in transition, politics in Russia and the post-Soviet region, U.S. – Russian relations. His recent article is “Making the World a Better Place in the Former Soviet Sphere” (Clio’s Psyche, Fall 2013). Additionally, his translation (in cooperation with Michael Marsh-Soloway, Ph.D. Student, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, UVA) of an account of John Paul Jones’ service in the Russian Imperial Navy by Valentin Pikul, a twentieth-century Russian writer, was published in Inkstone, Issue 24, 2015. His recent interview, “To Understand Modern Russia, J-Term Students Review 1,000 Years of History,” was published in UVA Today, January 13, 2016.