Over 50 Alfa Fellowship Program Fellows, alumni, and friends gathered on the evening of May 13 to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the Alfa Fellowship Program. Distinguished guests and speakers included Mikhail Fridman, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Alfa Group Consortium and Petr Aven, President of Alfa-Bank. Also in attendance was Dr. Aleksey Shishayev, Senior Counselor, Head of the Economic Office, Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States.
CDS International, a New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to intercultural exchange, worked together with Alfa-Bank representatives to organize the Alfa Fellowship Programs fourth alumni event since the programs inception in 2004. Mr. Fridman delivered the keynote address and Mr. Aven presented awards to the Fellows returning from Moscow in recognition of their participation on the program. During his keynote address, Mr. Fridman noted his continued satisfaction with the program and successes of the Fellows, recounting his experience earlier that day of being met at the US Treasury by an employee who was an Alfa Fellowship Program alumnus. Guests heard a statement read by Senior Counselor Shishayev on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov. Also included in the evenings program was a presentation of the first Alumni of the Year award, which was presented to Bruce Purdy.
The Alfa Fellowship Program, founded in 2004, is a high-level professional development exchange program that places qualified young professionals from the US and, as of 2009, from the UK in work assignments at leading organizations in Russia in the fields of business, economics, journalism, law and public policy. The Alfa Fellowship Program includes language training, seminar programs, and extended professional experience. By sponsoring the Alfa Fellowship Program, Alfa-Bank is demonstrating its commitment to fostering a new generation of American, British and Russian leaders with the expertise required for greater understanding and the sustainable improvement of ties between the US, UK and Russia. The Alfa Fellowship Program is administered in the US by CDS International, in the UK by Oxford University and in Russia by the Center for International Fellowships and Cultural Dialogue.