Kennan Institute Receives $2.4 Million Grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York

May 08, 2000

The Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the has been awarded a $2.4 million grant by Carnegie Corporation of New York. The two-year grant was awarded under a new Carnegie Corporation initiative on Higher Education in the Former Soviet Union (HEFSU). The Kennan Institute will share the grant with the Moscow Public Science Foundation (MPSF).

The HEFSU initiative is based on an assessment of need written by the Kennan Institute for Carnegie Corporation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on the social sciences and humanities in the former Soviet Union. That report -- prepared by Susan Bronson (formerly of the Social Science Research Council) and Nancy Popson and Blair Ruble (both of the Kennan Institute) -- concluded that there is a need for "middle ground" programs aimed at rebuilding professional life and sustaining professional communities in the former Soviet Union.

The Kennan Institute and the MPSF will jointly administer the work under this grant, establishing "Centers for Advanced Study and Education" (CASE's) in three regional Russian universities selected on the basis of a competition.

"We have great expectations for these centers of excellence where scholars from the humanities and social sciences will be able to access the latest work in their field and interact with colleagues across regional lines," said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "And we believe that the Kennan Institute, with its own history and reputation for excellence, will add great value to the long term work we envision."

"I am delighted that we have been selected by Carnegie Corporation of New York to support such an important effort," said Lee H. Hamilton, director of the Wilson Center. "I think it is a testament to the great work that the Kennan Institute does that it will administer this commendable initiative."

The Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies was founded as a division of the in December of 1974, through the joint initiative of Ambassador George F. Kennan, then Wilson Director James Billington, and historian S. Frederick Starr. Named in honor of Ambassador Kennan's relative, George Kennan "the Elder", a nineteenth century explorer of Russia and Siberia, the Kennan Institute is committed to improving American expertise and knowledge about Russia and the former Soviet Union.

"We are excited to be working with the Moscow Public Science Foundation in trying to establish new institutions in Russia which will nurture and sustain the social sciences and humanities," said Blair Ruble, director of the Kennan Institute. "There is no doubt that the expertise and experience of Andrei Kortunov of the Moscow Public Science Foundation, combined with Blair Ruble's insights and analysis will ensure the Corporation's strategy is successful," said Deana Arsenian, senior program officer and director, HEFSU, Carnegie Corporation. "And that strategy is very simple -- that scholars in Russia and within the former Soviet Union have the support and resources to grow intellectually." Created by the United States Congress in 1968 as the nation's living memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, the , serves as Washington's nonpartisan meeting ground between the world of ideas and the world of public affairs.

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