SEE is pleased to announce the opening of its new project competition for the 2015-2016 program year. Refer to this announcement to learn more about the new program format, review application components, and begin applying today!
On May 26, 2015 the Higher Education Working Group of the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) hosted a webinar, “US-Russia Cooperation in Higher Education: Engaging in a Professional Dialogue,” which brought together several experts to discuss the changing landscape of higher education in Russia. Find all the presentation materials here.
The Education and Youth Working Group, along with young Russian journalists, shared unique experiences and offered valuable cultural insight to American youth during the 2015 Student Television Network Convention.

Program Information


The US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange is a diverse network of Russian and US social experts and entrepreneurs engaged in a meaningful exchange of ideas and best practices to produce positive change in the lives of citizens in both countries.


SEE is driven by five interconnected components:

Working Groups are the core of SEE. Program participants gather in working groups to determine joint priorities for collaboration and to design and implement innovative projects that bring benefit to the people of Russia and the US. These groups are organized around nine distinct thematic areas: child protection, community development, education and youth, protection of flora and fauna, gender equity, higher education, rule of law and the community, migration, and public health. 

An annual conference brings together SEE members to evaluate joint priorities for action and to identify specific means for achieving them. 

Every year SEE conducts an open competition for Linkage projects that involve collaborative solutions to issues affecting both countries that tie in with at least one of SEE's Working Group priority areas. 

Fellowships are awarded to advanced and emerging social experts, offering the opportunity for a more intensive partnership between the US and Russia through a professional exchange at various host organizations. During their service of up to four weeks, fellows further advance the collaborative activities of SEE’s working groups. 

SEE's Steering Committee provides guidance on strategy, principles, and decision-making. Its members, selected for their social sector expertise and international partnership experience, represent foundations, think tanks, educational institutions, NGOs, and commercial entities in both Russia and the US.

Program History



SEE is an expansion of the US-Russia Civil Society Partnership Program (CSPP), which was launched in May 2011. CSPP had grown out of two US-Russia Civil Society Summits held in 2009 and 2010 after Russian and US civil society experts recognized the need for greater collaboration between citizens of both countries. In 2013, the program's name was changed from CSPP to SEE to reflect the expansion of its network of participants and their activities. 

SEE is implemented by Eurasia Foundation

Eurasia Foundation logo   

SEE seeks to intensify peer-to-peer and NGO-to-NGO cooperation among leading US and Russian civil society experts. Program participants synthesize innovative, far-reaching recommendations through SEE's Working Groups, accelerating progress in 9 thematic areas.

Latest News

On May 26, 2015 the Higher Education Working Group of the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) hosted a webinar, “US-Russia Cooperation in Higher Education: Engaging in a Professional Dialogue,” which brought together several experts to discuss the changing landscape of higher education in Russia. Find all the presentation materials here.
The Education and Youth Working Group, along with young Russian journalists, shared unique experiences and offered valuable cultural insight to American youth during the 2015 Student Television Network Convention.
In his published article, co-chair Denis Rogatkin not only encapsulates the Education and Youth Working Group’s experience at the 2015 STN convention, but reveals the roots of student broadcast journalism.
To improve the positive connections available to foster care youth in Russian and the US, the Child Protection Working Group set out to understand each countries systems and in the process learned to better address issues facing children and older youth.

SEE holds an annual conference that brings together US and Russian experts and social entrepreneurs. Designed as working conferences, these events convene SEE members for two days to review and refine their priority areas, as well as develop concrete approaches for achieving established goals. These conferences also provide SEE’s members with an opportunity for networking within and across working groups.
In the fall of 2014, the conference "Toward Sustainable Partnerships" was held in three parts. The first part took place on October 9-10, 2014, the second on October 23-24, 2014, and the third on November 10-11, 2014. All three were held in Washington, DC.


The opening session for the 2012 CSPP conference on November 15-16, 2012, in Washington, DC. 

Vladimir Pozner leads the opening session of the 2012 CSPP conference in Washington, DC. 

Participants at the 2011 inaugural CSPP conference in Moscow. 

The inaugural CSPP conference was held in Moscow, Russia, on November 14-15, 2011.

The US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) awards more than 60 fellowships annually to early-career specialists and established subject-matter experts from Russia and the United States for the purpose of collaboration and the exchange of ideas within the thematic focus of each of the program’s working groups.  During their fellowship, participants travel to the corresponding country to spend up to four weeks at host organizations while addressing important social issues facing both countries and implementing collaborative projects developed by each working group.
SEE offers two different types of fellowships. Click on the boxes below to learn about the basic qualifications of each.  
Emerging Professional Fellows are selected via an open application process. Please visit the 'Apply' tab to learn more.
Advanced Practitioner Fellows are selected internally based on nominations from each working group. We do not accept external applications for this category.

Emerging Professional Fellows are dynamic and energetic individuals with a demonstrated passion for their chosen issue and an articulated commitment to its advancement. During their stays at host organizations, Emerging Professionals will contribute to the work of organizations while developing their own experience through implementing projects, performing research, writing articles, contributing to social media, and assisting with organizational responsibilities. As talented new actors in their chosen fields, Emerging Professionals are expected to facilitate strengthened interaction among experts and relevant groups in both countries while at host organizations and upon their returns home.
Ideal candidates will have:
• Up to 5 years’ experience (or equivalent) working to address social issues closely associated with a subject area connected with SEE working groups;
• Strong facility with both Russian and English; 
• Current affiliation with a non-profit organization or related institution.
Note: Competition for Emerging Professionals is currently open. The application deadline is November 23, 2014.

Advanced Practitioner Fellows are individuals with extensive experience working on social issues in their chosen field. During their time at the host organization, Advanced Practitioners will share their expertise and gain practical experience. They will provide guidance on ongoing projects, participate in organizational development activities as appropriate, conduct research, and build their professional network. As recognized authorities in their fields, Advanced Practitioners will provide expert advice and support to host organization and SEE working group initiatives. They are also expected to facilitate strengthened interaction among experts and relevant groups in both countries, both while at host organizations and upon their returns home.
Ideal candidates will have:
Extensive experience (at least 5 years) working on social issues in their chosen field;
A clear record of outstanding work on questions with direct bearing on a priority area identified by a SEE working group.
Note: We do not accept external applications for this category.

Application Details

The US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) is not accepting applications for Emerging Professional Fellows for the 2015 cycle. Fellowships are currently taking place up to four weeks between February and April 2015.

Location: In collaboration with its working groups, SEE matches Emerging Professional Fellows with appropriate host organizations in the counterpart country based on the needs of each of their working group projects. These organizations may be located anywhere on the territory of the receiving country.

Language: Emerging Professionals are expected to have strong Russian- and English-language skills. Fellowship application materials are available in both languages and can be completed in the applicant’s native language. Recommendation letters can also be written in either language.

Logistics: SEE will handle arrangements for participating fellows’ travel and accommodations for the duration of the fellowship as well as provide a modest stipend. It will also provide visa support, if necessary.


To apply for the Emerging Professional Fellowship, please read “Qualifications for Emerging Professional Fellows” (left) before completing the application form. It provides crucial information about fellow qualifications and the previous and planned activities of each working group.  All application materials are submitted in confidentiality and will be retained by SEE for its records. The previous application cycle was completed on November 23, 2014.

Application Materials

Emerging Professional Fellowship Application (Updated on October 16, 2014)


SEE’s first two years of fellowships saw more than 140 advanced practitioners and emerging professionals visiting the corresponding country and acquiring valuable professional experience and skills, thereby contributing to sustained dialogue between our two countries.

Our fellows come from all corners of the US and Russia: from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, from Maine to Oregon. Each fellow brings to the table their experience as a lawyer, journalist, administrator, healthcare specialist, researcher, teacher, etc.



Alumni Network

In the spring of 2015, the SEE alumni network (SFAN) was launched. The network consists of a group of experienced Russian and US participants that successfully fulfilled all of their fellowships’ requirements.

The network is intended to provide a forum for the fellows and members of the working groups in which they could continue to exchange ideas and pursue future collaborative initiatives.

We invite alumni to join the Facebook group.



Fellowship Alumni

  • Jennifer Abel
  • Julia Antonova
  • Anna Baydakova
  • Sarah Chao
  • Ashley Cleek
  • Rebecca Dalton
  • Paitsar Danielyan
  • Pavel Dimens
  • Ilze Earner
  • Vadim Gershteyn
  • Sergey Golubev
  • Christiana Holsapple
  • Eleonora Ignatovich
  • Alexandra Kohut
  • Natalie Komrovsky
  • Ingrid Korsgard
  • Taisa Kropotova
  • Vyacheslav Kudashov
  • Marina Leksina
  • Natalia Melekhova
  • Olga Mironova
  • Erika Nauman
  • Mariya Oborina
  • Aryuna Radnaeva
  • Antonina Semivolos
  • Natalie Shure
  • Grant Slater
  • Ekaterina Stepanova
  • Allison Stringer
  • Elena Timofeeva
  • Irina Ushakova
  • Joy Ziegeweid
  • Roberta Acosta
  • Valentina Chupik
  • Michael Epshtein
  • Mark Steven Johnson
  • Irina Reshta
  • Galina Semya
  • Felix Sharkov
  • Andrei Suslov
  • Leah Visnapu
  • Richard Winfield
  • Anna Zavadskaya
  • Don Zeigler
  • Maria Mikhaylova
  • Violetta Khabibulina
  • Kira Berman
  • Maria Kovalskaya
  • Olga Novoselova
  • Tatyana Bondarchuk
  • Kris Sahonchik
  • Mac Caille Petursson

Jennifer Abel

Jennifer Abel is a senior extension agent for the Virginia Cooperative Extension, where she manages financial, nutrition, and energy conservation education programs. She is interested in addressing local community needs through non-formal education programs and in recruiting and training volunteers to leverage the impact that these programs can have in the community. Ms. Abel graduated from Macalester College with a BA in Russian, French, and International Studies, and from Penn State University with an MA in extension education.

Julia Antonova

Julia Antonova is a lawyer and a program director at the Samara Gender Studies Center and the free legal aid service coordinator for the news agency Caucasian Knot. An expert in both gender and law, she has worked closely with the American Bar Association and has collaborated on projects with UNDP, UNIFEM, UNFPA, USAID, Soros Foundation, Ford Foundation, IREX and others. Ms. Antonova graduated with an MA in history from Samara State University, and from the Law department at Moscow State University. 

Anna Baydakova

Anna Baydakova is a staff correspondent for The Moscow News.  She has worked for the Moscow bureau of The New York Times and for Radio Liberty among others, and she was the recipient of a journalism grant from the Paul Khlebnikov Foundation. Ms. Baydakova graduated from the Journalism Faculty at Saint Petersburg State University and has a Masters degree from the Faculty of Media Communications at the Higher School of Economics.

Sarah Chao

Sarah Chao is a Russian language instructor at Concordia Language Villages.  She has taught in Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia, and previously worked at the Irktusk State Linguistic University as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. Ms. Chao graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA in Russian language and area studies. 

Ashley Cleek

Ashley Cleek is a freelance journalist who focuses on migration, linguistics, and urban planning. She has written for websites including GlobalPost, The Atlantic, and PBS, and has reported radio stories for shows including The World, Marketplace, and Deutsche Welle. Ms. Cleek graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Russian Language and Literature and has studied linguistics in southern India.

Rebecca Dalton

Rebecca Dalton recently completed graduate studies at Columbia University and is interested in issues pertaining to migration, minority groups, and civil society in Eurasia. She lived in Moscow for six years, where she taught English and conducted independent field research. Ms. Dalton graduated from Rice University with a BA in Political Science and Slavic Studies and has studied at Moscow State Institute of International Relations as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. 

Paitsar Danielyan

Paitsar Danielyan is a senior lecturer at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. She co-founded the Armenian National Society in Orel and currently serves as the head of its Sunday school and women’s group. Ms. Danielyan completed graduate studies at Orel State University in the Faculty of Political, Government, and Municipal Service.

Pavel Dimens

Pavel Dimens most recently worked at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, studying oysters, economically important reef fish, and shark ecology. He has worked as a wildlife technician for the US Department of Agriculture and as an educational park ranger for the New York Parks Department. Mr. Dimens graduated with a BA in Environmental Sciences and Forestry from State University of New York at Syracuse and in 2014 will enter a M.A. program in Genetic Ecology at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

Ilze Earner

Ilze Earner is an Associate Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York City. She focuses on child welfare and has made significant contributions in identifying and addressing the systemic barriers to providing services to immigrant families, children and youth. Dr. Earner holds a PhD from Columbia University and graduated with a MA in Social Work from California State University.

Vadim Gershteyn

Vadim Gershteyn is a researcher at the Institute for Health Research and Policy (IHRP), where he monitors and evaluates a state-wide health improvement initiative affecting 2.5 million Illinois residents. He is also a co-founder and co-facilitator of Radical Public Health (RPH), a University of Illinois at Chicago-based organization that seeks to address the systemic causes of public health challenges through academic events and community activism. Mr. Gershteyn graduated with a BA in Economics and Political Science from DePaul University and an MPH from University of Illinois-Chicago.

Sergey Golubev

Sergey Golubev is an independent expert in social entrepreneurship and impact investment who has worked throughout Russia with state authorities, universities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. He lectures at the Faculty of Public Administration of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and the Public Administration and is the scientific director and a member of the supervisory board of the School of Social Entrepreneurship. He holds a PhD in Sociology and graduated from Manchester University with a MA in Cultural Management. 

Christiana Holsapple

Christiana Holsapple is a project coordinator for the Civil Society Support Center in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan. She is interested in migrant rights, civil society development, and international exchange, and has worked with American Councils for International Education in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She graduated with a BA in International Studies and Human Rights from the University of Kentucky.

Eleonora Ignatovich

Eleonora Ignatovich is a project director at City Development Foundation and a deputy director of the Tomsk City Administration’s communications department. She is a local community activist experienced in entrepreneurship support, community development, and media relations. Ms. Ignatovich graduated with a BA in English and German from Tomsk State Pedagogical University. 

Alexandra Kohut

Alexandra Kohut recently worked as a participant recruiter for the American Councils for International Education Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program in Moscow. Prior to that, she completed the Overseas Russian Flagship Program at Saint Petersburg State University. Ms. Kohut graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a BA in Russian Language.

Natalie Komrovsky

Natalie Komrovsky is a program manager for the Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund outside of the city of Pskov. She studied abroad in Siberia and is interested in helping children and graduates from orphanages create healthy independent lives for themselves. Ms. Komrovsky graduated with a BA double major in Russian and History from Middlebury College.

Ingrid Korsgard

Ingrid Korsgard recently graduated with a BA in Russian Studies and Community and Global Health from Macalester College. Previously, she has worked in Paraguay as the director of Amigos de las Americas, a youth and leadership community health program. Ms. Korsgard is interested in the role of capacity building and multimedia education tools in promoting better public health. She currently volunteers with the Health and Development Foundation in Moscow.

Taisa Kropotova

Taisa Kropotova is a chief lawyer for Euroasian Leasing Company CJSC. She has participated in international law competitions including the Jean-Pictet Competition in International Humanitarian Law in France and the Brown and Mosten International Client Consultation Competition in Ireland. Ms. Kropotova is currently working towards a PhD in International and European Law at Kazan Federal University.

Vyacheslav Kudashov

Vyacheslav Kudashov is the head of the Philosophy Department in the Institute for the Humanities of the Siberian Federal University in Krasnoyarsk. He is very active in nonprofit organizations and is a member of the Public Council in the Krasnoyarsk Territory Ministry of Culture and the chairman of the Professional Assembly of the Siberian Federal University. Dr. Kudashov holds a PhD in Philosophy from Irkutsk State University.

Marina Leksina

Marina Leksina works at the Civic Assistance Committee, an organization that offers support for refugees and forced migrants. Originally from Izhevsk, she is interested in issues surrounding various types of migration, including labor, forced, or voluntary, as well as questions about how to improve humanitarian initiatives and national laws. Ms. Leksina holds a graduate degree in social anthropology from Russian State University for Humanities.

Natalia Melekhova

Natalia Melekhova is an editor of the Yaroslavl Region Business News magazine and broadcasts on the Yaroslavl TV channel. She is interested in the socio-cultural impact of mass media on audience perceptions and worked on different media projects as well as lectured at the university level. Dr. Melekhova holds a PhD in the Theory of Language from the Yaroslavl Teacher’s Training University.

Olga Mironova

Olga Mironova is a corporate social responsibility senior manager for the company Severtal and coordinates the Road Home program, which works with orphaned and neglected children. She has worked as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in Nizhniy Novgorod, as well as with British, Austrian, and French charitable organizations. Ms. Mironova graduated with a MA in Counseling from the University of Manchester and from Nizhniy Novgorod State Medical Institute.

Erika Nauman

Erika Nauman is a strategic search specialist for the information retrieval company H5 and is currently pursuing a MA in Russian Studies from Middlebury College. She has a strong interest in coordinating joint degree programs and international education more broadly. Ms. Nauman graduated with a BA in Linguistics and Slavic Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Mariya Oborina

Mariya Oborina is an expert for the Perm NGO “Society for Development of Business Initiatives.” She previously served as the chief manager of the research and information department at the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner in the Perm region. Ms. Oborina graduated with a MA in Political Analysis and Public Politics from the National Research University Higher School of Economics and has a Specialist degree in legal and social support from Perm State University.

Aryuna Radnaeva

Aryuna Radnaeva is the coordinator of the Center for Development of Ecological and Social Projects in Moscow, as well as the coordinator for the “Save Baikal” project. Originally from the Republic of Buryatia, she has organized environmental cleanup initiatives around Lake Baikal and annual outreach projects for regional orphanages. Ms. Radnaeva graduated with a Specialist degree in international law from Kutafin Moscow State Law University.

Antonina Semivolos

Antonina Semivolos is completing a MA at the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University and will begin a PhD program in the university’s Telecommunications Department. She is interested in the legal and policy issues surrounding the collision of cyber technology with “terrestrial” laws in the territory of countries of the former Soviet Union. Ms. Semivolos graduated with a JD from Indiana University and a BA in European Studies and Economics from New York University.

Natalie Shure

Natalie Shure is pursuing a MA in Journalism at New York University and is focusing on issues surrounding the drug-resistant Tuberculosis epidemic in the former Soviet Union. She served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine and was a program assistant at American Councils for International Education. Ms. Shure graduated with a BA in History and Russian Studies from DePaul University.

Grant Slater

Grant Slater is a multimedia journalist with extensive experience working both in the United States and abroad. He has been the Visuals Editor for Southern California Public Radio in Los Angeles and the Moscow Bureau Chief for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and has reported from Israel, Iraq, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Cuba and most countries of the former Soviet Union. Mr. Slater graduated with a MA in Journalism from Northwestern University and a BA in Russian and Journalism from the University of Oklahoma.

Ekaterina Stepanova

Ekaterina Stepanova is a psychologist at a leading orphanage run by the Moscow Department of Public Social Protection. Through coaching, she helps orphans transition into families. Ms. Stepanova graduated with a MSc in Personality Studies, Consulting, and Psychotherapy and a BA in Psychology and Personal Psychology from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

Allison Stringer

Allison Stringer researches ecosystem ecology at Oregon State University. She is interested broadly in ecology and is particularly drawn to aquatic systems. She recently graduated with a BA in Biology and Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from Oregon State University.

Elena Timofeeva

Elena Timofeeva is the Russian programs manager of FAIRGirls and the president of Safe House Foundation. Having long provided psychological and social support to at-risk groups, she developed a social enterprise to help the people she works with support themselves through selling products made at art-therapy workshops at markets and sales. Ms. Timofeeva graduated with a degree in Psychology from Saint Petersburg State University.

Irina Ushakova

Irina Ushakova is an English teacher at the State Budget Educational Institution “Boarding Lyceum #61.” She has organized conferences with schools in China and Turkey and previously lectured at the Buryat Republican Institute of Educational Policy. Ms. Ushakova graduated with a BA in English and Chinese Teaching and Philology from Buryat State University.

Joy Ziegeweid

Joy Ziegeweid is a lawyer with a strong interest in developing effective holistic services to victims of gender-based violence. She currently practices immigration law at Sanctuary for Families, New York State’s largest provider of comprehensive services exclusively to victims of domestic violence and trafficking and their children. Ms. Ziegeweid graduated with a BA in Russian and East European Area Studies from Macalester College, an MS in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, and a JD from Columbia Law School.

Roberta Acosta

Roberta Acosta is a senior rural development specialist for the Ohio Rural Community Assistanсe Program, located in the town of Little Hocking, OH. She provides technical assistance to rural communities on issues related to water and wastewater project planning, as well as other community development needs. Ms. Acosta holds a BA in Environmental Sciences with a minor in Economics from the University of Toledo.

Valentina Chupik

Valentina Chupik is the executive director of Tong Jahoni, an international NGO. Her area of expertise is migration policy with particular focus on free legal and social aid for migrants and legal help for migrants in the workplace. Ms. Chupik graduated with a PhD in International Humanitarian Law from Saint Petersburg State University. She also holds undergraduate degrees in law, informatics, and mathematics from Saint Petersburg Academy of Civil Aircraft, Tashkent State Pedagogical University and the National University of Uzbekistan.

Michael Epshtein

Michael Epshtein is a professor in the Department of Educational Management at Saint-Petersburg State University and the head of School League ROSNANO, a government-sponsored program aimed to develop STEM education in Russian schools. He is interested in alternative and innovative education, comparative pedagogy, and the history of education. He has authored and co-authored five books and over 30 articles addressing different aspects of education. Dr. Epshtein graduated with a Specialist degree in Mathematics and a PhD in Pedagogy from Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia.

Mark Steven Johnson

Mark Steven Johnson is an assistant professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an expert in the field of higher education in Eurasia and has authored and coauthored many publications on the subject. Dr. Johnson graduated with a PhD, MPhil, and MA in History from Columbia University. 

Irina Reshta

Irina Reshta is a project manager at the Inter-regional Public Foundation “Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center,” where she designs, oversees, and evaluates projects that support the development of local communities. She also coordinates training sessions and the work of volunteers. Outside of her job, Irina volunteers as a teacher for children. Dr. Reshta graduated with a PhD in Information Analysis from Novosibirsk State Technical University. 

Galina Semya

Galina Semya is the head of the Child Welfare Department and a professor of psychology at the Capital Financial Humanitarian Academy in Moscow and a co-chair of the Expert Council for the State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children. She focuses on  social work, orphan interest and rights protection, and the prevention of family crisis. Dr. Semya graduated with a PhD in Mathematics and Physics and  has previously worked for UNICEF and SOS Children’s Villages in different countries.

Felix Sharkov

Felix Sharkov is a deputy director of the Institute of State Service and Human Resources and the head of the Department of Public Relations and Media Policy at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. His topics of interest include effective gender education and community programs to prevent gender-based violence. Dr. Sharkov graduated with a PhD in Sociology and is also an expert in the fields of social policy and social management.

Andrei Suslov

Andrei Suslov is a professor and the head of the Modern Russian History Department at Perm State Pedagogical University and the director of the Center for Civic Education and Human Rights. He has received numerous grants from international organizations to promote human rights initiatives in the Perm region. He has authored over 160 publications and most recently published History of Russia (1917-1991) in 2013.  Dr. Suslov graduated with a PhD in History from Ural State University.

Leah Visnapu

Leah Visnapu is the chairwoman of Women’s Organization for Social Support and the head of the Merry Felt creative workshop. Leah creates jobs for poor women – many with children and single mothers – through creating a market and structure for handicraft production. Leah previously worked at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg and Oxfam International in the UK. She graduated with a degree in heating and ventilation from Leningrad Institute of Engineering and Construction.  

Richard Winfield

Richard Winfield is a professor of media law at Columbia Law School and Fordham Law School in New York City. He is a co-founder of the non-governmental organization International Senior Lawyers Project. He graduated with a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

Anna Zavadskaya

Anna Zavadskaya is a staff scientist at the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, one of Russia’s oldest protected areas. She is interested in topics including the environmental impact of tourism on ecosystems, the social aspects of visitor management, issues with community-driven conservation, and ecosystem assessment. Dr. Zavadskaya graduated with a PhD in Geography and a MA in Environmental Management from Moscow State University.

Don Zeigler

Don Zeigler is an adjunct associate clinical professor at the School of Public Health and an affiliate in the Center on Global Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as an associate professor in the Department of Preventative Medicine at Rush University. He recently retired from the American Medical Association as the Director of Prevention and Healthy Lifestyles. Dr. Zeigler graduated with a PhD in Public Health and Health Promotion from the Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, OH.

Maria Mikhaylova

Maria Mikhaylova is a foreign language librarian and a member of the NGO World Beyond Borders. While volunteering as a translator for the American Councils’ National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program and working with American youth, she realized that she wanted to work in education and focus on its international aspects. Ms. Mikhaylova recently graduated majoring in linguistics from the Vyatka State University for Humanities.

Violetta Khabibulina

Violetta Khabibulina is an associate professor at the Nursing Department of Treatment Faculty of Saint Petersburg State Medical University and a research associate for the Institute of Social Research and Civil Initiatives in Kazan. She focuses on social risk-factors in medicine and health prevention, and immigrant health. Dr. Khabibulina earned her Master of Public Health degree from Boston University School of Public Health.  

Kira Berman

Kira Berman is a cultural news reviewer for Saint-Petersburg TV-100, where she works on a daily television program. She has participated in the Stony Brook University summer school in Saint Petersburg and is most interested in cultural interaction and mass media. Ms. Berman graduated with a BA in English Culture from Saint-Petersburg State University.

Maria Kovalskaya

Maria Kovalskaya is a historian and is primarily interested in issues revolving around migration, in particular the construction of stereotypes in media and primary culture. She works as a freelance reporter from the newspaper “Vostochno-Sibirskaya Pravda” and has participated in many ecological and social volunteer initiatives. She holds a graduate degree from the history department of Irkutsk State University.

Olga Novoselova

Olga Novoselova is an assistant director for international affairs in the Marketing, Communications, and Branding Department at the Institute of Public Administration and Entrepreneurship at the Ural Federal University. She is interested in developing international educational projects that will help students from different countries share experiences, cultures, and customs. Ms. Novoselova holds a MA in Public Relations and Advertising from the Russian Academy of Science, Urals branch.

Tatyana Bondarchuk

Tatyana Bondarchuk is a facilitator for substance abuse treatment groups at the Modus Vivendi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. She has a wide range of experience working in governmental agencies and at non-profit organizations on issues including domestic violence, child abuse, trauma, parenting, and challenges specific to Eastern European immigrant communities in the US. Ms. Bondarchuk graduated with a MA in Social Work from Portland State University in Oregon.

Kris Sahonchik

Kris Sahonchik is the director of the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine and the principal investigator on two projects funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services. A nationally recognized child welfare and organizational improvement expert, she focuses on designing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-informed policies and practices grounded in research, outcome-driven, and responsive to the needs of vulnerable children, families, and communities. Ms. Sahonchik attended the London School of Economics and graduated with a JD from the University of the District of Columbia and a BA from New York University.

Mac Caille Petursson

Mac Caille Petursson currently works for the American Bar Association: Rule of Law Initiative and is completing a BA in International Affairs and Russian Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She studied language at St. Petersburg State University and has worked as a research analyst in the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Ms. Petursson is interested in the rule of law field in the former Soviet Union and Russia in particular. 

Resources for 2015 SEE Fellows



  • Program Guidelines
  • Finances
  • Travel
  • Lodging
  • Health
  • Other Information
  • Checklist





Meet Our 2015 Fellows

  • Anastasia Amirkhanian
  • Rikki Brown
  • Jenifer Bunty
  • Victor Capoccia
  • Julia Chigareva
  • Shanti Elliott
  • Ksenia Gagay
  • Sarah Gesiriech
  • Alina Gnevasheva
  • Kim Helfgott
  • Philip Ireland
  • Steve Kallin
  • Aleksandr Kharevskii
  • Egor Kireev
  • Anastasia Kirilyuk
  • Aleksandr Korneev
  • Yulia Koval-Molodtsova
  • Irina Kozyr
  • Olga Kuznetsova
  • Elena Liapina
  • Joseph Lipari
  • Elizaveta Mirangi
  • Anush Mkrtumyan
  • Marielle Moore
  • Sergey Moskalets
  • Ruslan Nikitin
  • Iyanda (Robert) Nkanga
  • Leslye Orloff
  • Tara Ornstein
  • Gulnora Ovrutskaya
  • Ekaterina Petrianina
  • Denis Primakov
  • Vadim Riskin
  • Peter Safronov
  • Christie Sampson
  • Caress Schenk
  • Liubov Smykalo
  • Liliya Taisheva
  • Polina Tazenkova
  • Alexandra Telitsyna
  • Andrew Van Lew

Kidsave International and the Children’s Project in Nizhny Novgorod have partnered to prevent the rejection and termination of parental rights for families in challenging situations.
The University of Oregon at Eugene and the Stavropol branch of the NGO “No to Alcoholism and Drug Addiction” will offer US and Russian students majoring in child protection an opportunity to grow their professional skills and understanding of social problems through an internship exchange program.
Bard College in New York state and the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Smolny) at St. Petersburg State University will work together to create resources for colleges and universities to strengthen joint and dual degree partnerships between the US and Russia.
The Manhattan-based Downtown Community Television Center and Moscow’s Journalism Advancement and Support Center are teaming up to connect disabled citizens with American and Russian local media organizations.
Stanley Street Treatment and Resources in Massachusetts and the Health and Development Foundation in Moscow are collaborating on a strategic manual for public health campaigns implemented over mobile devices (“mHealth”) that will assist practitioners in addressing health issues facing at-risk women in Russia and the US.
The Corporate Government Faculty of the Financial University in Moscow and the Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance in Philadelphia will disseminate best practices in business ethics compliance through a network of multinationals and their Russian vendors as recommended by the 2013 Russia-led B20 international business summit.

Contact / Linkage Project Competition

In 2013 the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) conducted a two-stage partnership competition for projects jointly proposed by US and Russian NGOs. The competition sought to increase and intensify peer-to-peer relationships between US and Russian experts, who shared common objectives in addressing major challenges in their countries. All project proposals had to relate to the priority areas identified by SEE’s thematic working groups.
The competition consisted of two independent stages. The first stage, the Contact Project stage, enabled organizations from both countries to establish contacts with each other and prepare for the next stage of the competition, which asked partners to design and submit proposals for bilateral Linkage Projects.  
Following a very rigorous competition, six partnerships were identified as finalists and given the opportunity to implement their initiatives with the auspices of SEE. These projects were implemented in 2013-2014 program year cycle, and were completed in June, 2014.