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Michigan State University
Spartan Sagas
Lawrence Sheets
Alumnus, 1990
Tbilisi, Georgia
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Lawrence Sheets

Working toward peaceful resolutions.

Alumnus, 1990
Tbilisi, Georgia


MSU alumnus Lawrence Sheets has dedicated his career to cultivating a deep understanding of the South Caucasus region—its language, its people, and its struggles—and puts that knowledge to work to help prevent and resolve conflicts.

Since 2008, Sheets has been based in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he’s served as the South Caucasus project director for the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit NGO. In that role, he works with a small team that provides analysis on the South Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union. He brings a wealth of knowledge about the region, having previously worked as the Caucasus bureau chief for Reuters and as the Moscow bureau chief for NPR.

Sheets graduated with honors from MSU’s James Madison College in 1990 with degrees in international relations and Russian language and literature. He chronicled his expertise and knowledge in his book Eight Pieces of Empire: A 20-Year Journey through the Soviet Collapse. And while his path to the Caucasus wasn’t one he planned, it was no accident either.

“You do end up with a body of knowledge which few people have and I’m very grateful to Michigan State for helping this process through all these years, both in my undergraduate education and when I returned as a visiting scholar.”