RD Event: On Thursday, Nov. 17 Russia Direct will hold a panel discussion on Russia-U.S. people-to-people exchanges as part of the 48th Annual Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) Convention in Washington, D.C.

Educational exchanges are the best tool to foster trust between the countries. Photo: Shutterstock

With Russia-U.S. relations going through one of the deepest crises in the long history of bilateral diplomatic relations, people-to-people exchanges between the countries are also experiencing a decline.

Although people-to-people exchange programs were traditionally one of the best ways to revive the state of relations between the two countries, over the past years, as a result of the geopolitical crisis, this area of cooperation experienced a significant downturn. The governments on both sides reduced state funding for such programs at all levels, decreasing mutual understanding between the Russian and American public.

What role have exchanges played in improving and strengthening relations between Washington and Moscow? What does their future look like given the current crisis? We invite you to attend the upcoming Russia Direct panel discussion and explore these questions with us. 

Moderated by Russia Direct editor Lara McCoy, the panel will feature the following distinguished speakers:

Nicolai N. Petro, Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island specializing in Russia and its neighboring states. He has previously served in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs in the U.S. Department of State and at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Oleg Zhiganov, Director of the Russian Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. and head of Russia’s Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) Mission to the U.S.

Mark Hayes, Director of AU Abroad at American University in Washington, D.C. He also serves on the advisory board for the U.S. Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship Program, the Forum on Education Abroad's Standards Committee and Title IX Working Group.

Anton Fedyashin, Director of the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History and Assistant Professor, Department of History at American University, Washington, D.C. He is currently working on the book project, “Superpower Subconscious: The Cold War and the Spy Novel” and teaches his popular course "The Cold War and the Spy Novel" every spring.

You can also visit our exhibitor booth #332 at the ASEEES Convention to know more about our special projects: Russian California brochure and A Guide to Higher Education brochure. The full program of the Convention is available here

When: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 from 3:00 to 4:45pm

Where: The Washington Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C.