Russia Direct is pleased to announce the results of its Third Essay Contest. This time winners propose the ways of how to develop people-to-people exchange to withstand mutual misunderstanding between Russia and the West.

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Given the sharp deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations in the political and economic spheres, it’s time to focus on people-to-people contacts and exchange programs. With that in mind, Russia Direct is glad to announce the winners of its third student essay competition dedicated to public diplomacy and people-to-people communication.

First place goes to David Williams, a sophomore at American University, who presented an original idea on how to develop people-to-people exchanges between Russia and the United States.

Political dynamics between Russia and the United States are frozen. Further, both countries suffer from governmental stagnation,” he wrote. “I see a ray of hope and possibility in the upcoming 2018 Soccer World Cup. This event is a “once in a generation” opportunity and could catalyze a great expansion of cultural exchange between the two countries and set the stage for political change down the road.”      

His winning essay will be published on our website this Monday, Nov. 17.

The three other finalists are Simon Ciccarillo, a junior from Dickinson College; David Arnett, a graduate student at American University; and Jennifer Jacqueline Galeana Zavala, a student of International Affairs at The Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico. Their essays will be published over the following days as well.

Congratulations to the winners! And thank you all who participated!