Before coming to Oxford, Ernist had worked with the International Crisis Group in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, focusing on security issues facing Central Asia. Through further work with development projects in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Ernist shifted his focus onto drug-related social issues, a pertinent issue given the region’s location and porous borders.
Following a post with a project looking at Mental Health and HIV/Aids in Bishkek, Ernist began his MSc in Evidence-based Social Intervention with the expressed intention of tackling HIV/Aids-related issues in contemporary Kyrgyz society. Indeed, it was the emphasis on social change that related to Ernist’s ambitions of not only developing, but implementing initiatives to positively develop Central Asian societies.
Having completed his MSc in 2008, Ernist relocated to Osh, where he worked as a trainer/assistant to the Project Coordinator of the Central Asian HIV/AIDS Project (CARHAP) until April ‘09. Also in Kyrgyzstan, Ernist worked as an evaluator for the Agency of Technical Cooperation and Development. He has also worked as Assistant to Field Security Coordination Officer at the United Nations Department for Safety and Security.
Ernist is currently Sector Chief for bilateral and multilateral cooperation of Parliament Apparatus Unit for External Relations and Protocol.