On Monday, Oct. 17, Russia Direct will host a panel discussing how to boost the development of U.S.-Russia professional, educational, and cultural ties in times of crisis. The event will take place at Stanford University as part of the Fort Ross Dialogue.

Delegates of the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum (SURF), a grassroots exchange program, in the Fort Ross, a former Russian settlement in California. Photo: Fort Ross Conservancy

The downturn in relations between the U.S. and Russia also resulted in a decline in bilateral exchanges between the two countries. People-to-people exchanges involving students, academics and scientists are often cited as the best way to break down barriers and stereotypes, which makes them particularly important in the current political climate. Our panel will discuss a number of questions related to the effect such exchanges have had in the past and might have in the future, including:

- What lessons can we learn from the past, and how can U.S.-Russia exchanges be improved?

- What are some failures of past experience?

- What new formats and ways of improving exchanges can we find in the future?

- Is there a possibility in the current climate to increase bilateral exchanges and inter-university programs?

Register now for the Russia Direct event to be part of this discussion and share your views with prominent experts in the field.

The panel will be moderated by Russia Direct Editor-in-Chief Pavel Koshkin and will feature the following speakers:

Victoria I. Zhuravleva, Professor of American History and International Relations at the Department of International Relations and Area Studies, Director of the American Studies Program and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of International Relations and Area Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia. Her field of research interests is American history with a specialization in Russian-American relations and U.S. foreign policy.

Dan E. Davidson, President of American Councils for International Education and Professor of Russian, Bryn Mawr College, holds the Ph.D. degree in Slavic Languages from Harvard University.  He is author or editor of 44 books or collections as well as over 60 scholarly articles in the fields of Russian language, culture and international education.

Anna Vassilieva, Professor at The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. Her expertise comprises Contemporary Russian politics, Russian politics in the post-Soviet space, Russian culture and society. Professor Vassilieva holds Ph.D. in history from the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Federation.

Kathryn Stoner, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University and at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, as well as the Faculty Director of the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies at Stanford University. Prior to coming to Stanford in 2004, she was on the faculty at Princeton University for nine years, jointly appointed to the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School for International and Public Affairs.

Anton Fedyashin, Director of the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History and Assistant Professor, Department of History at American University, Washington, D.C. Dr. Fedyashin's first book Liberals under Autocracy: Modernization and Civil Society in Imperial Russia, 1866-1904 appeared in 2012. He is currently working on his second 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.

If you are interested in taking part in the discussion, please email us at contact@russia-direct.org. Please note that the number of places is limited and invitations will be issued on a first-come, first-serve basis.

When: Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Where: The Fifth Annual Fort Ross Dialogue, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.

The event is supported by the Russian oil transporting company Transneft