The new Disabilities Initiative is committed to establishing a platform to identify potential partnerships and facilitating collaboration in order to jointly implement bilateral projects focusing on pertinent disabilities-related issues in both countries.
In early August, the National Council of University Research Administrators and Eurasia Foundation launched the Research Administration Initiative (RAI). As part of RAI, SEE is playing a key role in building an international network of university research administrators.
Several US and Russian students met at the Volga Encounters Youth Media Festival in Cheboksary, Russia. Despite having few linguistic and cultural similarities, they found ways to overcome communication barriers.


Program Information

The US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) is a diverse network of Russian and US professionals and entrepreneurs engaged in a meaningful exchange of ideas and best practices that lead to joint action and positive change in the social dimensions of both countries.

 
SEE is presently composed of three key programmatic components:
 
Project teams are the new foundation of SEE, launched with the start of the 2015-2016 project competition. These teams are selected though an open competition that invites project groups — composed of Russian and US organizations — to create innovative bilateral initiatives. 
 
Invited Professionals — project teams may also nominate up to four "Invited Professionals,” who will travel to host organization(s) in the other country and will make distinct contributions to project implementation.
 
Independent Professionals are individuals who support initiatives that establish new US-Russian partnerships or strengthen existing ones. These participants each develop and implement a socially-oriented project that produces a significant and measurable social benefit in both Russia and the US.
 
 

Project teams as well as Invited and Independent Professionals all work to address at least one of the following socially oriented themes:

  1. Social support & protection of citizens 
  2. Protection of flora & fauna
  3. Promotion of animal welfare 
  4. Promotion of philanthropy and volunteerism
  5. Youth development
  6. Public health & promotion of healthy lifestyles
  7. Preservation of cultural identities & language 
  8. Adaptation of migrants 
  9. Medical and social rehabilitation 
  10. Promotion of economic and labor mobility
 
 

 

 

History

Formerly, SEE was composed of bilateral working groups that collaborated within 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. These working groups also attended an annual conference where they developed joint priorities and designed fellowships for other social experts working within their chosen fields.
 
SEE was originally an expansion of the US-Russia Civil Society Partnership Program (CSPP), 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 a deeper focus of their activities within social spheres.
 
 
SEE is implemented by Eurasia Foundation. 
 
Eurasia Foundation logo
 
 
 

 


The US-Russia Youth TV Bridge Initiative
 
The US-Russia Youth TV Bridge is an international platform for increasing cooperation between US and Russian youth through collaborative video production. High school students work together to record, edit, produce, and host broadcast-style video programming.
 
The driving force behind Youth TV Bridge is the competitively-chosen anchor team, composed of Russian and US high school students. The anchor team guides the overall course of the Youth TV Bridge season, and produces each episode with footage that has been submitted by high school students in both countries. The members of the anchor team are selected by successfully competing in video production contests at youth media festivals.
 
This season’s anchor team includes talent from Weston, Florida (USA) and Yaroslavl (Russia). Floridians Lee Giat, Daniel Pursell, and Richard Kidder learned about the opportunity to be part of the Youth TV Bridge at the Student Television Network (STN) convention in Atlanta, Georgia. From Yaroslavl, Nikita Kulikov, Anna Hrebtova, Dima Lebedkin, and Gleb Paramonov seized the moment at the Volga Encounters Youth Media Festival in Cheboksary, Russia. You can learn more about their adventures and experiences here.  
 
Future episodes of the Youth TV Bridge will touch on a variety of themes and will feature submissions from high school students sent to the Youth TV Bridge anchor team. To participate in the Youth TV Bridge, check out the content submission guidelines.   
 
Moving forward, EF hopes to extend the TV Bridge model to incorporate students from additional countries. 


Current Episode: Volga Encounters Youth Media Festival

 

 

In this episode, the anchor team engages their respective experiences at the Volga Encounters Youth Media Festival in Cheboksary, and elaborates on how they come together despite differences in langauge, culture, and being thousands of miles away from each other. This inaugural episode marks the launch of a whole season of student-produced broadcasting.

We would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts about the current US-Russia Youth TV Bridge episode in our survey - let us know what you learned in this episode and what you would like to see in future episodes. Thanks!

 

Upcoming episode: Sports in the US and Russia

 

In the next episode of the Youth TV Bridge, the anchor team will take up the subject of sports in the US and Russia. 

Do you and your peers want to participate in the US-Russia Youth TV Bridge? You're in luck! All future episodes will be driven by video content submitted by you! As each new episode is published and broadcast, the topic of the next episode will be updated on this website. When the topic is announced, we are ready to accept your submissions! Check out the submission guidelines below, and we look forward to seeing your video production. 

 

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submission is open to all U.S. and Russian high school students

  2. All entries must abide by the STN Creative Content Policy. Please make sure that all material and ideas are your own work.   

  3. Submitted videos must feature content about the immediately upcoming topic. Submissions are currently being accepted for the following topic: Sports in the US and Russia

  4. By submitting video footage to SEE, your team grants permission to SEE to feature your video in TV Bridge and related promotional materials.

  5. To be considered, your entry must be submitted before the following date: December 30, 2016

  6. Only one video may be submitted per high school team.

  7. Videos should be no longer than 3 minutes. 

  8. Finalist teams will be asked to submit scripts to accompany their videos. 

 

Submission Instructions:

Step 1: Upload your video to a YouTube account. Set the video to "unlisted" and generate a link to include in your official online contest entry form. Visit our guide for additional guidance on uploading to YouTube.

Step 2: Fill out and submit the mandatory entry form, available here. Please have your unlisted video link ready before you fill out the entry form. 

 

 

 


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 distinct stages. The Contact stage enabled organizations from both countries to establish ties with each other and prepare for the next stage of the competition.  The Linkage phase called for partners to design and submit proposals for bilateral projects.  Following a rigorous competition, six partnerships were chosen for implementation. These projects were conducted during the 2013-2014 program year.
 

 


INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONALS PROJECT INITIATIVE

SEE has launched the fourth round of its new initiative to enable individual US and Russian social experts to build cross-border collaborative projects that address common social challenges and result in benefits for both countries. The SEE “Independent Professionals Project Initiative” establishes and strengthens partnerships between US and Russian experts and host organizations in their counterpart countries by means of collaborative projects that focus on one or more of SEE’s thematic areas. Competitively selected candidates travel to an organization in the host country for 7 to 14 days to conduct activities related to their proposed project.

Over the course of project implementation in the host country, participants gain new skills and expand their professional networks. Upon their return home, independent professionals strengthen professional practice in their home institutions and benefit their own communities through implementation of activities directed at relevant home country constituencies making use of insights gained abroad.  Implementation of all activities, including the realization of tangible and measurable results in the host and home countries, must take place between March 1 - April 28, 2017.

 

Independent Professionals are selected via an open competition process. The application and other relevant materials are available for download below. Applications for the current competition cycle аre no longer being accepted. 

Application Materials 

Please read all materials fully and carefully before submitting an application.

Competition Description

Frequently Asked Questions

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

 


Alumni

Upon return to their home countries, participants of SEE fellowships, invited professionals and independent professionals join a considerably varied group of alumni.  Numbering over 140 from both Russia and the United States since 2013, new alumni are encouraged to continue the collaboration initiated during their participation in the program and learn about further opportunities for engagement and learning.  

SEE alumni represent a broad, dynamic body of knowledge and expertise in SEE’s focus areas and present a unique opportunity for ongoing cooperation.  Former participants have come from all parts of the US and Russia and fulfill a wide range of professional roles in their societies (as, for example, teachers, doctors, wildlife managers, lawyers, professors, non-profit leaders, healthcare specialists, and journalists).   

 
 

 

Joining the Alumni Network

In early 2015, SEE launched the SEE Alumni Network, an initiative to bring together the considerable expertise inherent in SEE alumni.  The network is designed to provide a platform for continued professional networking and the exchange of ideas, particularly as they pertain to US-Russia collaboration.  

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

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. 

Julia Chigareva

Julia Chigareva

Education and Youth Working Group
Emerging Professional

Julia Chigareva is head of the Center for Social Projects, а regional public youth organization in Samara. Ms. Chigareva worked as head of public relations and media at the Samara State Communication University. She was a Team Leader of volunteers at the XXII Winter Olympic Games in 2014 in Sochi and trained volunteers at the XXVII Summer Universiade in 2013 in Kazan. Her work primarily focuses on organizing socially significant activities and projects for youth, as well as mass volunteer groups.

Sergey Moskalets

Sergey Moskalets

Protection of Flora and Fauna Working Group
Emerging Professional

Sergey Моskalets is the deputy director of the regional public budgetary institution “Management of the Security of Wildlife Objects and Especially Guarded Natural Territories,” which is concerned with preserving reserves of regional value and wildlife objects. Mr. Moskalets graduated from the Institute of Forestry at the Seashore State Agricultural Academy with a degree in forestry engineering. He is a forest manager, specializing in game management.

Liubov Smykalo

Liubov Smykalo

Gender Equity Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Liubov Smykalo is a program coordinator at the non-profit organization “Doctors to Children” in St. Petersburg and a senior lecturer at the Psychology Department at the St. Petersburg State University. She has over 10 years of professional experience in assisting vulnerable women and children, including victims of violence and trafficking. Ms. Smykalo is a psychologist by education; she graduated from the Psychology Department of the St. Petersburg State University.

Anastasia Amirkhanian

Anastasia Amirkhanian

Migration Working Group
Emerging Professional

Anastasia Amirkhanian is a third-year post-graduate student in the Department of Sociology, with a focus on social work at the St. Petersburg State University. Her study is focused on identifying Chinese migrants’ strategies of integration in Primorsky Krai (Russia’s far Eastern region). Her work examines the health and social adaptation needs of Chinese migrants in Russia and also explored strategies to meet these needs. She is the Project Coordinator of a longstanding international HIV prevention research infrastructure development collaboration project of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Botkin Hospital for Infectious Diseases in St. Petersburg. Miss Amirkhanian is interested in social science research applied to issues that affect the health, adaptation, and social integration of migrants.

 

Alina Gnevasheva

Alina Gnevasheva

Community Development Working Group
Emerging Professional


Alina Gnevasheva is an expert-researcher at the Civic Analysis and Independent Research Center (GRANI Center). She is currently in charge of research projects for the local and federal government, think tanks, businesses, and local civic activists. In 2013, Ms. Gnevasheva graduated from the University of Illinois at Springfield from the graduate program (non-degree seeking) in Public Administration as a recipient of Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship (US State Department). Ms. Gnevasheva has a B.A. in Economics and Legal relations from Perm State University.

Irina Kozyr

Irina Kozyr

Protection of Flora and Fauna Working Group
Emerging Professional

 

Irina Kozyr is the Deputy Director for Science at the Baikalsky Nature Reserve, Russia’s second protected area around Lake Baikal. She is interested in the effect of climate change on biota (vegetation), social aspects of ecosystem services, and the promotion of the role and importance of protected areas in direction biodiversity conservation in the region. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Biology from the Russian Academy of Science and an M.A. in Biology and Chemistry Education from Blagoveschensky State Pedagogical University.

Gulnora Ovrutskaya

Gulnora Ovrutskaya

Gender Equity Working Group
Emerging Professional

Gulnora Ovrutskaya has a Ph.D. in Political Science, and she is the associate Professor of the conflictology and national security of the Institute of sociology in Southern Federal University in Rostov-on-Don. She is active in teaching and research activities. Research interests: the socio-political conflicts, social communication, gender relations, including the community programs of preventing gender-based violence. Ms. Ovrutskaya cooperates with non-profit organizations of the Rostov region and has taken part in several social projects.

Aleksandr Korneev

Aleksandr Korneev

Public Health Working Group
Emerging Professional

 

Yulia Koval-Molodtsova

Yulia Koval-Molodtsova

Child Protection Working Group
Emerging Professional

Yulia Koval-Molodtsova is a co-founder and communications director at Social Advertising Laboratory (Russia). Currently she also works as a programs development associate at Kidsave International. In 2014 she received her master’s degree in International Media and Communications at the American University as a Fulbright Program fellow. Her previous experience included developing child abuse prevention campaigns; empowering young people to enhance their skills to succeed in transitioning to employment and adulthood; producing communication materials for vulnerable youth groups, such as booklets, websites, videos, educational blog posts, and interactive manuals on life skills.

Olga Kuznetsova

Olga Kuznetsova

Education and Youth Working Group
Emerging Professional

 

Alexandra Telitsyna

Alexander Telitsyna

Child Protection Working Group
Emerging Professional

Alexandra Telitsyna graduated from the Moscow State University with a degree in biology and worked at a research institute in the Russian Academy of Sciences' system. She later received a degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in biology, after which she worked for various companies, both commercial and non-profit. She is currently the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Russia (а mentoring program for children left without parental care). She is actively involved with the volunteering community: she trains dogs for the blind and otherwise handicapped. She is a member of the Public Council for the Childhood Protection of Moscow’s Department of  Social Protection of the Population, the Public Council for the Protection of Patients' Rights of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Health, the Association of Fundraisers, etc.

Sarah Gesiriech

Sarah Gesiriech

Child Protection Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Steve Kallin

Steve Kallin

Protection of Flora and Fauna Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Steve Kallin is the Project Leader for the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming.  For the past 36 years, he has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at various National Wildlife Refuges and has extensive experience in natural resource project planning, implementation, and collaboration with natural resource agencies, NGOs, and communities. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

Caress Schenk

Caress Schenk

Migration Working Group
Emerging Professional

Caress Schenk is an Assistant Professor of political science at Nazarbaev University. She earned a Ph.D. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (USA) writing a dissertation on Russia's immigration regime, and is currently working on a book manuscript that considers how Russian regions manage immigrant populations. Prof. Schenk is also working on a project that compares immigration policies in Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine, focusing on the impact of policies and practices on migrants' rights and well-being. Her current and previous research has been funded by the American Councils for International Education, Nazarbaev University and the Fulbright Scholar Program and has been published in Demokratizatisya, Europe-Asia Studies, and Nationalities Papers.

Jenifer Bunty

Jenifer Bunty

Protection of Flora and Fauna Working Group
Emerging Professional

Jenifer Bunty is currently a graduate student earning a Master of Science in Biology. She earned dual degrees from the University of Florida in Russian Studies (B.A.) and Biology (B.Sc.) with a specialization in Natural Science. Her master’s research is focused on the population ecology and dynamics of tiger prey species in the Russian Far East. She spent three months working in the Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik.

Joseph Lipari

Joseph Lipari

Rule of Law and the Community Working Group
Advanced Practitioner


Joseph Lipari is the Administrator of the Citizen Review Board (CRB) in Syracuse, NY and an active member of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.  Prior to administering the CRB in Syracuse, Mr. Lipari was the spokesperson for the Chicago Coalition for Police Accountability and the Executive Director of Citizens Alert, a non-profit agency in Chicago that provides information and assistance to the public on matters of police accountability. Mr. Lipari received his Master’s Degree in History from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he also taught courses on African American history and World history. His academic research focused on the relationship between African Americans and the police in Chicago during the 20th century.

Tara Ornstein

Tara Ornstein

Public Health Working Group
Emerging Professional

Tara Ornstein is a Research Fellow with the Center on Public Diplomacy, where she researches the role of diplomacy in global tuberculosis control. She has worked for a wide range of international organizations including the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, HealthRight International, Save the Children, UNICEF, and the United Nations Population Fund among others. Ms. Ornstein is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health in Global Health Leadership at New York University.

Elizaveta Mirangi

Elizaveta Mirangi

Gender Equity Working Group
Emerging Professional

Elizaveta Mirangi has more than 7 years of experience working with global NGOs, utilizing her skills and professional background in international journalism, social media, and lobbying. Mrs. Mirangi has a bachelor’s degree in International Journalism, and her scientific course study was based on information security and geopolitics, which encouraged her to explore lobbying and public relations deeper. Since the beginning of 2014, Mrs. Mirangi is a member of The Board of Directors for the Metro NY Chapter of The U.S. National Committee for UN Women, and Co-Chair of the Programming Committee. Mrs. Mirangi also represents the interregional Union of Life Help “Sail of Hope” at the UN.

Marielle Moore

Marielle Moore

Rule of Law and the Community Working Group
Emerging Professional

Marielle A. Moore graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in May of 2014. During law school, she worked on several social justice legal issues, including permanent guardianship for incapacitated former foster youth, LGBT rights, and disability discrimination. As an intern at the District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints, she helped research and draft a policy recommendation for an effective Metropolitan Police Department on-body camera program. Currently, Mrs. Moore is an Attorney Advisor with the Social Security Administration. In her free time, she volunteers as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children in Washington, DC.

Ruslan Nikitin

Ruslan Nikitin

Public Health Working Group
Emerging Professional

Ruslan V. Nikitin is a research associate at the Institute for Behavioral Health, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, primarily working on substance abuse prevention. He is also a first year doctoral student and a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA/NIH) fellowship trainee, studying health policy at Brandeis. Mr. Nikitin graduated with an M.Sc. in International Health Policy and Management from Brandeis University and а B.A. in International Studies/Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).

Christie Sampson

Christie Sampson

Protection of Flora and Fauna Working Group
Emerging Professional

Christie Sampson is a second year Ph.D. student at Clemson University and has worked in the field of ecology and human-wildlife conflict within the United States and internationally for over 8 years. She is currently collaborating with the Smithsonian Institution, investigating human-elephant conflict mitigation strategies in Myanmar.  Ms. Sampson graduated from Michigan State University in 2005 with two B.S. degrees, one in Biosystems Engineering and one in Zoology, and from Clemson University with an M.S. degree in Biological Sciences in 2013.

Andrew Van Lew

Andrew Van Lew

Community Development Working Group
Emerging Professional

Andrew Van Lew is currently pursuing an M.A. in Cross-Cultural and International Education from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). Prior to this, he was the academic director of a foreign language institute in South Korea, YBM – Language Institutes. His work as an international educator began as a Peace Corps volunteer English Instructor in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Egor Kireev

Egor Kireev

Migration Working Group
Emerging Professional

Egor Kireev is a Candidate of Sociological Sciences (Ph.D.) and Associate Professor of the department of the sociology of the Russian State Social University (the RSSU). As an active researcher, Mr. Kireev took part in the execution of numerous Russian and international research projects in the field of sociology and community engagement and continues to be involved in various research activities.

Denis Primakov

Denis Primakov

Rule of Law and the Community Working Group
Новый специалист

Denis Primakov received a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, as well as a B.A. in Law and a J.D. from the Saint Petersburg State University. His dissertation for his Ph.D. in Law was dedicated to a comparative study of a Jewish and a Muslim legal system in the Medieval Period. In the interest of field research, he studied the Israeli legal system and legislation of the Arab States at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has since moved to Moscow in order to join the Federal Institute of Russian Legislation and Comparative Studies, where he prepared drafts of laws and provided legal analysis in anti-corruption legislation. Currently, Mr. Primakov works as a chief lawyer at Transparency International-Russia.

Shanti Elliott

Shanti Elliott

Education and Youth Working Group
Advanced Practitioner


Shanti Elliott directs the Civic Engagement program at Francis Parker School in Chicago. She also co-leads the Teachers’ Inquiry Project and teaches in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Her work focuses on education for social change through community-school partnerships, anti-racism pedagogy, and deepening political awareness. She has written for a wide range of publications, from Folklore Forum to The Slavic Review to Schools Journal. Her book, Teaching and Learning on the Verge: Democratic Education in Action, will be published by Teachers College Press in Spring 2015.

Elena Liapina

Elena Liapina

Education and Youth Working Group
Emerging Professional

Elena Liapina is an English teacher in a Moscow secondary school. She is simultaneously the head of the school’s educational process. She is primarily responsible for organizing the educational process and according methodological assistance to supervising teachers. In the summer period, Miss Liapina arranges language school camp for kids in collaboration with International Youth Centre «Earth – The Planet of People».

Philip Ireland

Philip Ireland

Youth and Education Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Philip Ireland is a writer, journalist, educator, video storyteller, entrepreneur and poet. He is passionate about the American Constitution, human dignity, love and walking in nature. Ireland believes that the meaning of life lies in the creation of beauty when possible, and the defense of beauty always. He is the founder of eMotion Web Video. Raised on the mid-Atlantic seaboard of the United States, he has lived Southern California since 1979.

Liliya Taisheva

Liliya Taisheva

Public Health Working Group
Emerging Professional

Since 1999, Liliya Taisheva is the director of the noncommercial organization “New Century,” whose initiative resulted in the Republic of Tatarstan obtaining innovative technologies – prophylactic campaigns in mass media that were based on social marketing, “equal education,” outreach work, and low-threshold services for vulnerable groups in the population. She is a member of Tatarstan’s Civic Chamber and an assistant for Tatarstan’s human-rights ombudsman. She has an M.D., some 80 publications, 2 monographs, and methodological guidebooks for prophylactic work in public health organizations. She has experience in information analysis and organization in the public sector, expertise in evaluating and preparing methodological programs, and experience in monitoring the activity of noncommercial organizations, including federal and international ones.

Aleksandr Kharevskii

Aleksandr Kharevskii

Community Development Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Aleksandr Kharevskii is the chairman of the regional ecological NGO “City Park – Yarushki” in the Udmurt Republic and the vice chairman of the community board of Izhevsk. He takes part in the Udmurt Republic’s community development and is a member of the governing bodies of multiple NGOs, social councils, and commissions. He is a member and creator of social projects, programs, and initiatives that are intended to create conditions for the development of socially meaningful community activity, as well as positively affect the ecological situation in the region. He is the director of the press center of the NGO “Council Union of the Udmurt Republic,” where he is responsible for preparing press releases and articles for mass media, establishing relationships with various organizations and governing bodies on all levels. Mr. Kharevskii graduated from the Udmurt State University and finished a graduate program in social psychology.

Anush Mkrtumyan

Anush Mkrtumyan

Community Development Working Group
Emerging Professional

Anush Mkrtumyan is a small business owner; she has also worked at Catholic Charities of Los Angeles as a client resource coordinator, providing case management to refugees and immigrants, helping them establish small businesses within their local communities. Ms. Mkrtumyan holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Political Science from California State University of Northridge.

Rikki Brown

Rikki Brown

Education and Youth Working Group
Emerging Professional

Rikki Brown graduated with a B.A. in Russian Studies from Grand Valley State University. Since graduation, she received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Astrakhan, Russia. She then lived in Ankara, Turkey for two years, teaching English at Ankara University High School. During her time as a teacher, she assisted students in facilitating exchange through programs such as Model United Nations. Ms. Brown is an ardent supporter of cultural exchange and has participated in a number of international exchange programs with the goal of simultaneously striving to support mutual understanding amongst peoples.

Leslye Orloff

Leslye Orloff

Gender Equity Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Leslye Orloff is an Adjunct Professor and Director of the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) at American University Washington College of Law. Orloff’s 30-year career includes working collaboratively with experts across the country to develop and implement immigration relief, public benefits access, and family law protections for immigrant women, children, and survivors. She was involved in drafting the Violence Against Women Acts of 1994, 2000, 2005, and 2013, the Trafficking Victims Protection Acts of 2000 and 2008, and the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005.   She was a co-founder and co-chair of the National Network to End Violence against immigrant Women (1992-2011) and has edited story collections bringing immigrant women’s voices to national policy makers. Ms. Orloff has published numerous law and social science journal articles, curricula, and training materials for attorneys, law enforcement, judges, and other professionals on legal rights and services options for immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes. Ms.  Orloff’s work on behalf of immigrant women has received national recognition.

Vadim Riskin

Vadim Riskin

Education and Youth Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Vadim Riskin is a Senior Manager for the Office of School-Family Partnerships at Portland Public Schools and the President of the East European Coalition. He is a multicultural professional, fluent in Russian and English with expertise in education, nonprofit organizations, community affairs, program design and strategy development. Mr. Riskin graduated with a B.A. in Leadership in Organizations from Bellevue University.

Polina Tazenkova

Polina Tazenkova

Higher Education Working Group
Emerging Professional

Polina Tazenkova is the Executive Director at the Department of International Programs at European University at St. Petersburg, Russia. She is one of the department leaders, and her everyday duties include coordinating and developing partnership agreements with universities abroad, budgeting, and overseeing and distribution of the other team members' work tasks in the department. Ms. Tazenkova holds an M.A. in International Business from the Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU) and is currently working on her Ph.D. thesis at the Department of Ethics in the Institute of Philosophy at SPbSU.

Ekaterina Petrianina

Ekaterina Petrianina

Higher Education Working Group
Emerging Professional

Ekaterina Petrianina is an Incoming Mobility Coordinator at Saint-Petersburg State University. Her main responsibility is the coordination of a university-wide exchange program with more than 100 partners (support of incoming mobility and preparation of the documents from selection to dismissal and reports on academic mobility, financial management of incoming mobility, help with outgoing mobility management, consulting partner universities about agreements with SPbU and the acceptance procedure, organization of extracurricular events for exchange students and work with volunteers, etc.). Ms. Petrianina graduated from Saint-Petersburg University with a B.A. and an M.A. with distinction in Russian as a Foreign Language and an additional specialization in Educational Management. She is currently a Ph.D. student.

Anastasia Kirilyuk

Anastasia Kirilyuk

Protection of Flora and Fauna Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Anastasia Kirilyuk is a biodiversity program specialist in the Amur branch of WWF Russia. She has experience in human-wildlife conflict resolution in Russia’s Far East, as well as experience conducting training seminars on cooperating with government authorities and public relations. Mrs. Kirilyuk has a specialist degree in “world economy” from the Baikal State University of Economics and Law. She is currently getting a master’s degree in biology (with a focus in biodiversity conservation) in the Far Eastern Federal University. She is also a certified interpreter of English and Chinese with a certification from the Chita Institute of the Baikal State University of Economics and Law.

Peter Safronov

Peter Safronov

Higher Education Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Peter Safronov obtained his Master’s degree (in 2003) and his Ph.D. (in 2006) in philosophy from the Moscow State University. In 2011 Peter was responsible for the start-up of the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. He chaired this Department until 2013. He taught at the Executive MBA Programs of the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management in 2012-2013. Since February 2014, he holds the position of Associate Professor at the Institute of Education of the National Research University – Higher School of Economics and chairs the “Evidence-based Educational Policy” M.A. program. During the last 4 years, Peter Safronov has been acting as a consultant to the Kazan Federal University, the Russian Chamber of Trade and Industry, the Russian Union of University Chancellors, and several NGOs.

Iyanda (Robert) Nkanga

Iyanda (Robert) Nkanga

Migration Working Group
Advanced Practitioner


Iyanda (Robert) Nkanga is a nonprofit professional with experience in project development, coordination, local capacity building, evaluation, and resource development (fundraising). He is also the Vice Co-chair for the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE)’s Migration Working Group.  For ten years he has been working as an independent consultant in the Midwest, specializing in interpretation and translation for French- and Lingala-speaking migrants that are seeking asylum. Mr. Nkanga earned a Post-graduate Certificate in International Development Project Management from Monterey Institute of International Studies (Monterey, California, USA). He holds a B.A. in Applied Linguistics/African Cultures from the National Pedagogical University of Kinshasa, (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo) and an M.A. in Religion from the University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois, USA), where he was an advanced doctoral candidate in Social Policy Administration.

Kim Helfgott

Kim Helfgott

Child Protection Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

 

Kim Pawley Helfgott is a principal of the child welfare practice area within the Health and Social Development Program at the American Institutes for Research and also serves as the co-chair of the SEE’s US/Russia Child Protection Working Group. Previously, she served as associate director for the Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center and as the child welfare specialist for the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health. She has also supported SAMHSA System of Care grantee communities by providing technical assistance to address the mental health needs of children, youth, and families at risk or involved in the child welfare system. Prior to her current position at AIR, she served as Deputy Director of the Child Welfare Information Gateway. She has had extensive experience coordinating national initiatives and providing technical assistance to improve services and service delivery for vulnerable children, youth, and families. Prior to her work at the national level, she provided counseling to children, youth, and families in residential treatment, community-based mental health, psychiatric, and special education settings.

Victor Capoccia

Victor Capoccia

Public Health Working Group
Advanced Practitioner

Victor Capoccia's career has spanned academic, philanthropic, and public/non-profit positions in health and human services fields. As an academic, he taught planning, organizational change, and research, and more recently published research on impact of universal health coverage in Massachusetts on access to behavioral health services. As Director of Community Health Services (Health Department) for Boston's then Department of Health and Hospitals he reorganized the city's EMS service and was part of the team that initiated the Neighborhood Health Plan and one of the country's first mobile methadone clinics (1988). He later was CEO/President of a community-based addiction prevention and treatment agency where budget and science based service continuum expanded from $2-$12 million in a 10 year period. He led the Addiction Prevention and Treatment Team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, initiating projects that included Paths to Recovery (NIATx quality improvement), Resources for Recovery (maximizing financing strategies), and Advancing Recovery (using evidence based practices), as well as Jobs to Careers, a program to address workforce needs by expanding opportunity for front line workers.  He also led Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap at the Open Society Foundation. Capoccia is currently consulting, speaking, and writing, on behavioral health dimensions of health reform implementation, and system design and strategies.

Ksenia Gagay

Ksenia Gagay

Rule of Law and the Community Working Group
Emerging Professional

Ksenia Gagay graduated from Rostov Federal University in Russia with an M.Sc. from the Faculty of Linguistics. She also studied at the Higher School of Economics (National Research University), specializing in the “History of Knowledge with а Comparative Perspective.” Currently she is studying at the Documentary Film School in Moscow, where she has already made a documentary film about Russia’s oldest school teacher, who lives and works in the Chechen Republic. Previously, she collaborated with the Public Verdict Foundation, creating a documentary script on the issue of torture in modern Russia. Currently, Miss Gagay is focusing on photography, shooting video, and editing.

The former core of the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE), working groups brought together program participants to determine joint priorities for collaboration and to design and implement innovative projects intended to benefit the people of Russian and the US.

In striving to intensify peer-to-peer and organization-to-organization cooperation among leading US and Russian social experts, working groups accelerated progress throughout nine key thematic areas within which they worked.

The thematic areas included: 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.

Latest News

The new Disabilities Initiative is committed to establishing a platform to identify potential partnerships and facilitating collaboration in order to jointly implement bilateral projects focusing on pertinent disabilities-related issues in both countries.
In early August, the National Council of University Research Administrators and Eurasia Foundation launched the Research Administration Initiative (RAI). As part of RAI, SEE is playing a key role in building an international network of university research administrators.
Several US and Russian students met at the Volga Encounters Youth Media Festival in Cheboksary, Russia. Despite having few linguistic and cultural similarities, they found ways to overcome communication barriers.
SEE is pleased to announce the opening of its new project competition for 2016-2017. Refer to this announcement to learn more about the new program format, review application components, and begin applying today!


During its first two programmatic years, the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) annually awarded more than 60 fellowships to both early-career specialists and established subject-matter experts from Russia and the United States. These experts joined together to exchange ideas and tackle common challenges within the thematic focus of each of the program’s former working groups.

During their fellowships, participants traveled to their counterpart country for up to four weeks at host organizations and helped to implement collaborative projects developed by each working group.

During this period, SEE offered two distinct types of fellowships: 

 
 

Emerging Professionals were talented new actors in their chosen fields. These dynamic and energetic individuals developed their own experiences through implementing projects, performing research, writing articles, contributing to social media, and assisting with responsibilities related to their host organization.

Advanced Practitioners were individuals who already had established experience working on social issues in their chosen field. These fellows were directly selected by SEE’s former working groups and provided guidance on ongoing projects, participated in organizational development activities, conducted research, and built their professional networks. 

 



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 distinct stages. The Contact stage enabled organizations from both countries to establish ties with each other and prepare for the next stage of the competition.  The Linkage phase called for partners to design and submit proposals for bilateral projects.  Following a rigorous competition, six partnerships were chosen for implementation. These projects were conducted during the 2013-2014 program year.
 

 

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.