Irina Papkova is a scholar of religion and international relations, currently a Research Fellow of Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. She is based in Washington, DC and Beirut, Lebanon.
A magna cum laude graduate of Hamilton College, Papkova received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgetown University. She has taught there, at George Washington University, and at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She has also held academic fellowships at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington, the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna, and the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center at Hokkaido University in Japan. Papkova is the author of The Orthodox Church in Russian Politics (Oxford University Press, 2011), a critically acclaimed study of state-church relations in post-Soviet Russia, and numerous scholarly articles in academic journals. She is a regular contributor to The Revealer, a gazette of religion and international affairs issues, and a composer of Russian Orthodox Church music. She currently works with the choir of the Mar Elias Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in Beirut.
Papkova is a daughter of the Very Reverend André Papkov, a Russian Orthodox Archpriest and rector of Chicago's Cathedral of the Holy Protection. She is a great-great-granddaughter of the Russian-German industrialist, politician, philanthropist, and anti-communist leader Nikolay Fyodorovitch von Ditmar. Another ancestor was the Russian jurist and politician Fyodor Alexandrovich Golovin, a founder of the Constitutional Democratic Party and chairman of the short-lived second convocation of the Imperial Russian Duma.
She is chairwoman of the Russian Ball of Washington, DC.