Washington, DC, May 16, 2012 — Over 40 Alfa Fellowship Program Fellows, alumni, and friends gathered on the evening of May 16 for the sixth annual Alfa Fellowship Program Alumni Event. Distinguished guests and speakers included Mikhail Fridman, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Alfa Group Consortium and Petr Aven, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Alfa Banking Group. Also in attendance were Richard Burt, former United States Ambassador to Germany, and Dr. Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Cultural Vistas, a non‐profit 501©(3) organization, formerly known as AIPT‐CDS, has administered the Alfa Fellowship Program in the U.S. since 2004 and in the U.K. since 2012. Cultural Vistas provides international exchange opportunities that strengthen global networks, enhance professional skills and advance mutual understanding in an interconnected world. Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Columbia, Md. and Washington, D.C, Cultural Vistas worked together with Alfa-Bank representatives to organize the Alfa Fellowship Program’s sixth alumni event. Mr. Fridman delivered the keynote address, stating that the destinies of those associated with the Alfa Fellowship Program were joined in the mutual goal of enhancing understanding between our countries — Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Guests heard a statement read on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, in which he expressed his support of the program. Jason Jarrell, President of the Alfa Fellowship Alumni Association, gave updates on the activities of the alumni during the past year and Andrew Riedy, a recent alumnus, presented a gift of gratitude to Messrs Fridman and Aven on behalf of the 9th group of Alfa Fellows, who completed their program in April 2012.
The Alfa Fellowship Program, founded in 2004, is a high-level professional development exchange program that places qualified young professionals from the U.S. and, as of 2009, from the U.K., 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-Banking Group 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 U.S., U.K. and Russia. The Alfa Fellowship Program is administered in the U.S. and U.K. by Cultural Vistas and in Russia by the Fund for International Fellowships and Cultural Dialogue.