Dr. Victoria Clement is a scholar, historian, and author who has traveled widely in Central Asia and has lived in Turkmenistan and Russia. Clement is one of the country’s foremost authorities on the history, culture, and politics in Turkmenistan. With experience developing, executing, and presenting educational materials to non-profit, academic, diplomatic, and U.S. Department of Defense communities, she is a recognized expert on Central Asia. Her book, "Learning to Become Turkmen: Literacy, Language, and Power, 1914-2014", was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2018. She has taught at the Naval Postgraduate School and the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. She currently runs the consulting firm Central Asian Insights in northern Virginia.
Wilson Center Projects
“Learning to Become Turkmen: Literacy, Language, and Power, 1914-2014”
Victoria Clement is the founder of the consulting firm Central Asian Insights, located in northern Virginia. With experience developing, executing, and presenting educational materials to non-profit, academic, diplomatic, and U.S. Department of Defense communities, Clement is a recognized expert on Central Asia. She has taught at the Naval Postgraduate School, the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana, and the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. In 2012, she was the U.S. Embassy Policy Specialist in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Clement has broad experience delivering lectures, presenting at academic conference, talking at think tanks, and appearing before U.S., Turkish, Turkmen, Kazakh, Uzbek, and British government representatives. She has written about Central Asia for such outlets as The Diplomat, Kennan Institute, Central Asian Analytical Network, American Foreign Policy Council/Institute for Security & Development Policy, and Atlantic Council.
Clement’s book Learning to Become Turkmen: Literacy, Language, and Power, 1914-2014, was the first book in English to be based on research in Turkmenistan’s archives. The author of a dozen book chapters, Clement has also published articles in scholarly journals including: Nations and Nationalism, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, and European Education. Clement has received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, International Research and Exchanges Program (IREX), American Councils for International Education Regional Scholar Exchange Program (ACTR/ACCELS), National Council for East European & Eurasian Research (NCEEER), and the Open Society Institute.
With knowledge of the Turkish language, Clement also has a deep interest in history, culture, and politics in Turkey. In 2012, she led a Track II Strategic Dialogue in Istanbul, Turkey with a grant from Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). She has written about Turkey for Middle East Studies Insights and has been on the Board of Güvenlik Stratejiler Dergisi/The Journal of Security Strategies. Clement is on the Board of Directors for Arzuw (Wish) Foundation, a non-profit organization that awards scholarships and loans to Turkmen students.
Learning to Become Turkmen: Literacy, Language, and Power, 1914-2014 University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018).
“Religion and the Secular State in Turkmenistan,” Institute for Security & Development Policy (June 2020).
“Pilgrimage Sites that Should not be Missed,” Turkmensands (March 11, 2020).
“Pedagogy and Power in Turkmenistan,” in I. Silova & S. Niyozov (2nd Ed), Globalization on the Margins: Education and Post-Socialist Transformations in Central Asia (Charlotte: IAP, 2019), 505-526.
“Passing the Baton in Turkmenistan,” Atlantic Council (October 21, 2019).
“What Are US Interests in Turkmenistan?,” The Diplomat (June 18, 2019).
“The Transformation of Higher Education in Turkmenistan: Continuity and Change,” with Zumrad Kataeva, 25 Years of Transformations of Higher Education Systems in Post-Soviet Countries: Reform and Continuity in Jeroen Huisman et al., eds. (Cham: Palgrave, 2018), 387-405.
“Articulating National Identity in Turkmenistan: Inventing Tradition through Myth, Cult and Language,” Nations & Nationalism, July 2014, Vol. 20, No. 3, 546-562.
“Central Asia’s Hizmet Schools,”The Muslim World and Politics in Transition, in Greg Barton, Paul Weller and Ihsan Yilmaz, eds. (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013), 154-167.
“Faith-based schools in post-Soviet Turkmenistan,” European Education, Vol. 43, Spring 2011, 76-92.
“Emblems of Independence: Script choice in post-Soviet Turkmenistan,”International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Vol. 192, July 2008, 171-85.