40th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Russia

150 Russian and American Fulbright Alumni gathered in Moscow on April 10th-11th to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Russia and participate in a conference featuring presentations and workshops led by their peers with themes showcasing Fulbright scholars’ scientific research, academic exchange programs, musical compositions, and art history to name just a few.

The opening ceremony and the plenary session took place on April 10th at the Hotel Marriott Courtyard with the participation of Alumni, representatives from leading Russian universities, US Embassy staff, and a delegation of US Community Colleges Administrators. The plenary session included greeting words from the Fulbright Program Director Joel Ericson, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs of the US Embassy, Jeff Sexton, Under Secretary of the US Department of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Tara Sonenshine, Deputy Director of the International Department of the Ministry of Education and Science Boris Zhelezov, Director of the Krasnogorsk State College, Viktor Dyomin, President of Broward College (US) David Armstrong, Vice Rector of MISiS, Tim O’Connor, Professor of Moscow State University, Head of the Alumni Association, Tatiana Venediktova, and Senior Director at MIT (Russia), former Fulbright Program Director, Ed Roslof. Apart from that, the participants heard speeches from Viktor Kruglov, Advisor of the Head of Federal Supervisory Authority on Education of Russia, and Konstantin Severinov, Fulbright Alumnus, Professor of Rutgers University, New Jersey. All of the speakers stressed the significance of academic and cultural cooperation between the United States and Russia for mutual understanding and international progress.

Tara Sonenshine

Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary of the US Department of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

Konstantin Severinov, Fulbright Alumnus, Professor of Rutgers University, New Jersey

During the second part of the day, six alumni (Jeffrey Prater, Igor Tyukhov, Steve Yates, Vladimir Sogrin, Shuguang Deng and Svetlana Sigida) gave reports and presentations about their Fulbright experience and its influence on their professional career and outreach, and how the Fulbright Program made their professional dreams come true. The presentations included lectures on photography and musical composition to alternative sources of energy and hydrogen storage research and raised huge interest as demonstrated by the questions and comments from the audience.

At the reception which followed the opening day of the conference, Russian and American alumni and current American grantees together with representatives of Russian universities had the opportunity to communicate while scheduling future joint academic and cultural events and sharing experience on their engagement in significant national and international projects. Plenty of reminiscing took place in the course of their conversations about their Fulbright program experiences.

Fulbright Program Deputy Director Natalia Smirnova and Fulbright Alumnus Ivan Krasnobaev

Fulbright Alumnus Jeffrey Prater and
Fulbright Program Director Joel Ericson

The second day of the conference took place at the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys (MISiS). During the lively discussions which took place in 7 distinct sections, the participants had the opportunity to share their success stories and talk about the role of academic exchanges in the development of science, education, art and other spheres of life. The conference came to an end with closing remarks by the director of the Fulbright Program in Russia Joel Ericson, short speeches from Aleksandr Kubyshkin, Stanislav Shpanin, Natalia Smit, and Adelina Silva, who thanked the Program, IIE, the US Embassy and colleagues for this unique opportunity to meet each other, and a presentation by an active member of Russian Fulbright Alumni Association Yulia Golobokova. Yulia reminded the Alumni of the importance of keeping in touch and encouraged everyone to take part in different Alumni projects and events.

The Fulbright Program in Russia. Institute of International Education.
Strastnoy Bulvar 8A, 4th floor, Moscow, Russia 107031
Tel: +7.495.966.9353 Contact: