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Tver Open World Alumni Promote U.S.-Russian Partnerships
November 1, 2006

Discussion participants. The man on the left (in the suit) is Tver’s Mayor Oleg Lebedev.
The Tver Regional Library hosted a seminar on “Developing Russian-American Partnerships” for local community leaders interested in creating U.S.-Russian ties. The seminar was attended by 12 Open World alumni and 14 others, including young civic activists, local government representatives, and local TV and newspaper reporters.

In his opening speech, Tver Mayor Oleg Lebedev talked about potential joint projects with American businesses, including an impending collaboration between Tver and the Boeing aircraft company.

Open World alumna Olga Kutuzova, a representative of the U.S. Commerce Department and a Hubert Humphrey Fellowship recipient, described the Business Information Service for the Newly Independent States (BISNIS). Established in 1992 within the Commerce Department, BISNIS is the U.S. government’s market information center for U.S. companies pursuing business development in post-Soviet states.

Andrei Generalov, the representative for the Open World Alumni Outreach Program in Russia’s Central District, then delivered a presentation on educational and professional training opportunities in the United States through SABIT, the Fulbright Program, the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program, the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program, and similar exchanges.

During the discussion of Russian-U.S. partnerships, the Open World alumni talked about their current work and their achievements since their U.S. exchanges, shared their opinions about developing sister-city relationships and asked further questions about the exchange programs.

Generalov offered a concrete suggestion to promote international ties: participating in an international children’s drawing contest sponsored by UNICEF. Before the seminar ended, the alumni had agreed to help out with the contest, and the reporters present agreed to publish information about it.