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Open World

U.S.-Ukraine Foundation Receives
2011 National Grantee of Merit Award from
Open World Leadership Center

U.S.-Ukraine Foundation receives 2011 National Grantee of Merit Award from Open World Leadership Center

U.S.-Ukraine Foundation President Nadia K. McConnell holds the 2011 National Grantee of Merit Award and is flanked (from left to right) by VP/COO John A. Kun, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Olexander Motsyk, VP/Ukraine Director Markian Bilynskyj, Open World Executive Director Ambassador John O’Keefe, and Open World Program Coordinator Oksana Yakovenko.   

Washington, DC - The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation was presented with the 2011 National Grantee of Merit Award by the Open World Leadership Center, the U.S. Congressional agency working to increase U.S.-Eurasian understanding and partnerships during a gala reception at the Library of Congress on the evening of February 8, 2011.

The evening’s award presentation was headed by Dr. James H. Billington, Open World Board of Trustees Chairman and Librarian of Congress, and Ambassador John O’Keefe, Executive Director of the Open World Leadership Center.  The award was accepted by U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s President Nadia Komarnyckyj McConnell. 

In her acceptance speech, Mrs. McConnell thanked Dr. Billington and the Open World Leadership Center for their support, and attributed the Foundation’s success to its staff, the local partnering organizations, and the “hundreds of Americans, particularly non-hyphenated American volunteers, who welcome our guests from Ukraine [in their homes] … and let them see the best of America.” 

She cited the role and incredible value of the U.S. “citizen diplomat” in assisting Ukraine's civil society.

Mrs. McConnell added, “Given the current state of affairs around the world, programs like Open World are “priceless” and I hope that those responsible for U.S. foreign assistance policy will take the time to understand and appreciate a program like Open World - what it accomplishes for the U.S. … and I hope they will realize that such a program should not only be continued but their funding should be increased.” 

Dr. James H. Billington, Open World Board of Trustees Chairman and Librarian of Congress, presents the 2011 National Grantee of Merit Award to U.S.-Ukraine Foundation President Nadia McConnell.  Ambassador John O’Keefe, Executive Director of the Open World Leadership Center, looks on.

Dr. James H. Billington, Open World Board of Trustees Chairman and Librarian of Congress, presents the 2011 National Grantee of Merit Award to U.S.-Ukraine Foundation President Nadia McConnell. Ambassador John O’Keefe, Executive Director of the Open World Leadership Center, looks on.

Open World’s national grantees are competitively selected non-governmental organizations and non-profits; local hosts provide professional grassroots programming as well as home stays for individual delegates. The work of the national grantees and local hosts are integral to the Open World program.

The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia. In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program. Open World promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts.

Open World has introduced more than 16,500 current and future decision makers from Ukraine, Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union to American political and civic life, and to their American counterparts. Open World delegates range from first-time mayors to veteran journalists, from nonprofit directors to small-business advocates, and from political activists to judges at all levels.

A History of Excellence in Programming and Partnering

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) has provided effective programming and family hosting for over 200 emerging Ukrainian leaders for Open World since 2006.  The Foundation has received an Open World grant of $156,000 for 2011 and will be responsible for the program activities for another 60 Ukrainian officials this year.    

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s role in administering “people-to-people” exchanges between the U.S. and Ukraine has been an integral part of its 20 year history.  The program component of “citizen diplomacy” has been a characteristic in its many projects, including most notably the U.S.-Ukraine Community Partnerships Project of 1997-2007, issued through the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S.-Ukraine Policy Dialogue Exchange Project (2003-2006) , issued through the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, John A. Kun, indicated that the “Foundation’s work, especially that of our own Oksana Yakovenko in Washington and Markian Bilynskyj in Kyiv, with a network of partnering organizations throughout the United States has aided the Foundation’s efforts with Ukraine, and the success of our partners in excellent program implementation and hosting is a key reason behind the Open World Leadership Center award. Allow me to highlight some of the groups and their leaders.”

-    The Ukrainian Cultural and Humanitarian Institute (UCHI) of Carnegie, PA (near Pittsburgh) handled an NGO Development/Governance Program with a Public Health focus during March 2010.  Local Host Coordinator Stephen Haluszczak directs UCHI in its mission to develop contacts between the U.S. and Ukraine on cultural, educational, and humanitarian levels.  It also serves to develop cross-cultural understanding between the people of the U.S. and Ukraine.

Open World Delegation at the University of Pittsburgh - March 2010

Open World Delegation at the University of Pittsburgh - March 2010

- The International Visitors Council of Greater Kansas City (MO) has been partnering with USUF in its projects since 1998.  It has hosted Open World groups through USUF over the past three years. Executive Director Barbara Dolci leads the KCIVC (www.kcivc.org) team in promoting excellence in “citizen diplomacy.”  Citizen diplomacy is the idea that the individual citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape United States foreign relations "one handshake at a time."

Open World Ukrainians in Kansas City - March 2010

Open World Ukrainians in Kansas City - March 2010

- The Baltimore Sister Cities Committee hosted a delegation from their sister city of Odessa in October 2009.   Mark and Anna White, along with Renee Samuels from the Baltimore Mayor’s Office, were instrumental in organizing the training on Accountable Governance and family hosting of the six visiting Ukrainians (http://baltimore.org/visitors/international/sister-cities).

The Baltimore Sister Cities Committee hosted a delegation from their sister city of Odessa in October 2009.

Odessa group with Senator Ben Cardin – October 2009

- The Foundation’s Texas partner is in the rapidly-developing Longview (East Texas) area.  Brad Bunt, Director of the Kilgore College Small Business Development Center (www.kilgore.edu/sbdc.asp), has been collaborating with the Foundation since the late 1990s.  During 2010, Mr. Bunt hosted Ukrainian mayors and local officials, interested in economic development, under the Open World program theme of Accountable Governance.  

Ukrainians Show No Fear of the Hallsville (TX) High School Bobcat!  - March 2010

Ukrainians Show No Fear of the Hallsville (TX) High School Bobcat! - March 2010

- The Ukrainian National Women’s League, Detroit Regional Council (UNWLA-DRC) welcomed a group of pre-school educators from Ukraine in April 2010 under the Open World banner.  The Warren, MI area team is led by Lydia Jachnycky, Lydia Kazewych, Lydia Taraschuk, Natalia Hewko, Sophie Koshiw and Vera Andrushkiw.

The Ukrainian National Women’s League, Detroit Regional Council (UNWLA-DRC) welcomed a group of pre-school educators from Ukraine in April 2010 under the Open World banner.

UNWLA with Open World Delegation at Wayne State University - April 2010

Open World Delegation Visits UNWLA Branch 76 Preschool - April 2010

Open World Delegation Visits UNWLA Branch 76 Preschool - April 2010

- Birmingham (AL) Sister Cities (www.birminghamsistercities.com) claims an Honorary Counsel of Ukraine - Scotty Colson - who also serves as  the Assistant to the Mayor of the City of Birmingham.  Mr. Colson became involved with USUF through the U.S.-Ukraine Community Partnerships Project (1997-2007).  He has traveled to Ukraine and has welcomed many Ukrainians to Alabama.  Recent Open World groups have focused on Accountable Governance and Public Health.  Their most recent group was in June 2010.

Birmingham (AL) Sister Cities (www.birminghamsistercities.com) claims an Honorary Counsel of Ukraine - Scotty Colson

Birmingham, AL - June 2010

- Little Rock local host coordinator Walter Nunn leads the Arkansas Council for International Visitors (http://arkciv.com) in planning for Ukrainian Open World groups.  The Arkansas contingent has been working with USUF since the late 1990s, originally through the U.S.-Ukraine Community Partnerships Project. Walter Nunn is now organizing for a March 2011 Ukrainian group focused on a state legislative program theme.

- The Arlington (VA) Sister City Association (www.arlingtonsistercity.org) has hosted Open World groups from Ivano-Frankivsk in 2009 and 2010.  Local Coordinator Chrystia Sonevytsky has been the motivating force behind the Arlington and Ivano-Frankivsk relationship and she has worked closely with ASCA President Karl Van Newkirk in this regard. Their dedication culminated in the official Sister Cities signing between both communities at the 2011 Sister Cities International Conference. USUF is proud to have supported the Arlington-Ivano-Frankivsk relationship!

The Arlington (VA) Sister City Association (www.arlingtonsistercity.org) has hosted Open World groups from Ivano-Frankivsk in 2009 and 2010.

Tree Planting in Arlington, VA - October 2010

- The Chicago Sister Cities International (Kyiv Committee) (www.chicagosistercities.com) hosted an October 2010 Open World delegation, which focused on Accountable Governance.  The visit was organized by coordinators Vera Eliashevsky and Vera Halicki. 

The Chicago Sister Cities International (Kyiv Committee) (www.chicagosistercities.com) hosted an October 2010 Open World delegation, which focused on Accountable Governance.

Open World Group at the Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago, IL

Open World Group in Chicago, IL - October 2010

Open World Group in Chicago, IL - October 2010

- Omaha’s Heartland Family Service (www.heartlandfamilyservice.org), the oldest and largest human services agency in the Omaha, NE region, managed a 2010 Open World delegation from Ukraine which concentrated on Accountable Governance for Community and Economic Development.  President John H. Jeanetta has been active in USUF’s exchanges for over 10 years.  Mr. Jeanetta also had worked with the Applied Information Management Institute (www.aiminstitute.org) of Omaha in hosting many Foundation and Open World delegations from Ukraine.

- Louisville’s World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana (www.worldkentucky.org), a partner of USUF since 1998, has programmed Open Groups since 2007.  Led by Benjamin Jones and Matt Madden, the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana hosted an Accountable Governance group from Ukraine in June 2010.

- A somewhat different type of Open World exchange - focusing on no-till farming techniques and biofuel production - was coordinated through Penn State University in State College, PA.  Both topics presented by Penn State are important to Ukraine’s agricultural and environmental future.  Long-time Foundation supporter, Dr. Roxolana Horbowyj, inspired the Foundation to administer such an exchange with Penn State in October 2009.

- USUF has partnered with the Springfield (IL) Commission on International Visitors in programming exchanges with Ukraine since 1998 (http://www.springfieldinternational.org/home.htm).  SCIV’s Open World exchanges in 2006, 2008 and 2011 have been coordinated by Alicia Erickson, International Program Manager.     

- In Des Moines, Iowa, the Foundation has organized Open World visits with ITEBS & Associates LLC, coordinated by Ann Schodde, and with Iowa Sister States (www.iowasisterstates.org), directed by Phil Latessa.  Iowa’s relationship with Ukraine has been strongly tied to Cherkasy for many years.

- Another long-running U.S.-Ukraine relationship has been with Cincinnati, OH and Kharkiv.  The Foundation has supported this relationship through U.S.-Ukraine Community Partnerships Project exchanges since 1998 and most recently through Open World groups in 2007 and 2009, implemented by the Cincinnati Ukraine Partnership (www.cincy-ukraine.org).

USUF will be initiating new Open World relationships in 2011 with Modesto, CA and Montgomery County, MD.  Modesto Sister Cities International (www.modestosistercities.com), which is partnered with Khmelnytsky, will be hosting Khmelnytsky oblast officials in March 2011.  Later in the year, USUF plans to work with Montgomery County Sister Cities leaders in developing an exchange with Luhansk.

“One must remember,’ added Mr. Kun, “that Open World programming is in effect a two-way ‘exchange dialogue,’ meaning that not only are Ukrainians learning from Americans, but our citizens are also learning from our Ukrainian guests.  It is definitely not a one-way instructional program – and our expert translators can attest to that!  Both sides benefit today and through developing, personal relationships, both countries will benefit tomorrow.”

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation wishes to thank all its partnering organizations, the coordinators, volunteers and hosting families for their dedication and hard work in citizen diplomacy with Ukraine and in helping the Foundation earn the 2011 National Grantee of Merit Award.  They can all take great pride in being part of this wonderful honor and in aiding the ‘civil society’ of both countries.

 

Open World Delegation Visits Texas

March 2010 - USUF's Longview, Texas partner - Kilgore College Small Business Development Center - hosted an Open World delegation from Ukraine.  The delegates, focusing on an Accountable Governance theme, included:

Serhiy Ivanovych Harhat, Executive Director, NGO “Center for Support and Development of Reforms”

Volodymyr Anatoliyovych Hlushko, Secretary of Council, Petrovsk Local Administration, Luhansk Region

Oleksandr Mykhaylovych Isyp, Mayor, Kobelyaki City Council

Volodymyr Yevhenovych Pletyuk,City Head, Shumsk City Council

Petro Zinoviyovych Shkutyak, First Deputy Head, Dolyna Regional State Administration

Andriy Volodymyrovych Kurasov, Interpreter, Embassy of Malaysia in Ukraine

During their stay, the delegates had the opportunity to visit the neighboring Hallsville Independent School District and Hallsville’s Mayor at City Hall.  

Click here to view the photos of this visit.  http://www.hisdtechphoto.org/id235.html

 

2009 Open World Activities Thrive,
USUF receives $145,000 2010 Grant

Washington, DC, February 1, 2010 — The Open World Leadership Center of the Library of Congress has awarded a 2010 grant of $145,000 to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation to train and host 60 local leaders from Ukraine. This is the 5th consecutive year the Foundation has been a grant recipient of the Open World Leadership Center.

The 2010 hosting and training program themes planned for the Ukrainian visitors address accountable governance and non-governmental organization (NGO) development.

During the final quarter of 2009, the Foundation administered several interesting and successful exchanges.

The Arlington (VA) Sister City Association (ASCA) hosted a delegation focusing on NGO development from Ivano-Frankivsk.  Both communities have signed a friendship agreement, which is the step prior to becoming official sister cities.  Chrystia Sonevytsky, ASCA’s chairperson for the Ivano-Frankivsk committee, coordinated activities with various organizations, including the Foundation, to ensure a successful exchange.

The Baltimore Sister Cities Committee hosted a delegation focusing on accountable governance from Odessa in October.   Mark and Anna White, along with Renee Samuels from the Baltimore Mayor’s Office, were instrumental in organizing the training and family hosting of the six visiting Ukrainians.

A somewhat different type of exchange - focusing on no-till farming techniques and biofuel production - was coordinated through Penn State University in State College, PA (see photo below). 

Open World Penn State

Both topics presented by Penn State are important to Ukraine’s agricultural and environmental future. 

Long-time Foundation supporter, Dr. Roxolana Horbowyj, inspired the Foundation to administer such an exchange with Penn State.

During the past year, the Foundation administered four other exchanges with partnering organizations in Cincinnati, OH, Kansas City, MO, Louisville, KY, and Omaha, NE. 

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation will be administering exchanges for 10 Ukrainian delegations in 2010.  In March, the first three groups will be hosted in Pittsburgh, PA, Kansas City, MO, and Longview, TX. 

The Pittsburgh exchange will address public health issues and will be coordinated by Stephen Haluszczak of the Ukrainian Cultural and Humanitarian Institute.  Accountable governance issues will be highlighted in the exchanges with Kansas City and Longview, coordinated by Barbara Dolci of the International Visitors Council of Greater Kansas City and Brad Bunt of Kilgore College’s Small Business Development Center, respectively.

The U.S. Congress established the Open World in 1999 to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia.  In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program.  Thanks to Open World, some 15,000 current and future Eurasian leaders have experienced American civil society and have been exposed to new ideas and practices that they can adapt for use in their own work. Open World also promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts. Open World currently operates exchanges for political and civic leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

Open World ASCA

ASCA President Karl Van Newkirk awards Hanna Krysyuk of Ivano-Frankivsk
upon completion of the Open World exchange

 

 

OPEN WORLD AWARDS $100,000 TO THE U.S.-UKRAINE FOUNDATION

Washington, DC, June 19, 2009  — The Open World Leadership Center of the Library of Congress has awarded a 2009 grant of $100,000 to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation to host 42 local leaders from Ukraine.  This is the 4th consecutive year the Foundation has been a grant recipient of the Open World Leadership Center. 

The 2009 hosting and training program themes planned for the Ukrainian visitors address accountable governance and non-governmental organization (NGO) development.

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and its partners – Applied Information Management Institute (Omaha, NE), International Visitors Council of Greater Kansas City (Kansas City, MO), and The World Affairs Council of Kentucky/Southern Indiana (Louisville, KY) – have just completed the June hosting of 18  Ukrainian local and regional government leaders.

In September and October 2009, the Foundation will be working with organizations in Arlington, VA, Baltimore, MD, Cincinnati, OH, and University Park, PA in hosting 24 governmental and non- governmental officials.

Managed by the Open World Leadership Center – a separate entity within the U.S. legislative branch with offices at the Library of Congress – the program is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the Baltic States, by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, first-hand exposure to America’s democratic government, free-market system, and nongovernmental sector.
As participants in the program, the delegates have the opportunity to meet with representatives of federal, state, and local government agencies; economic development agencies; and neighborhood associations. During their meetings participants learn about services provided by local and state governments, the budget process, transparent financial accountability, the allocation of tax dollars and the effectiveness of government programs. They also gain knowledge about regional economic development and cooperation.  

In regards to NGO development, Open World improves the delegate’s administrative, advocacy, and fundraising skills. By visiting nongovernmental groups, interest or advocacy groups, the leaders have the chance to observe how the nongovernmental sector works and how the sector cooperates with the government, the private sector, and local communities.

 

U.S.-UKRAINE FOUNDATION RECEIVES GRANT AWARD
FROM OPEN WORLD PROGRAM 

Washington, DC, September 19, 2008  — The Open World Leadership Center of the Library of Congress has awarded a 2008 grant to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation to host 42 local leaders from Ukraine.  The hosting and training program themes planned for the Ukrainian visitors for this year address accountable governance and non-governmental organization (NGO) development.
This is the 3rd consecutive year the Foundation has been a recipient of a grant award from the Open World Leadership Center. 

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and its partners – Birmingham Sister Cities in Birmingham, AL, International Training, Education & Business Services & Associates, LLC of Des Moines, IA, Arkansas Council for International Visitors in Little Rock, AR, and Louisville International Cultural Center in Louisville, KY – have thus far hosted the 24 mayors, local and regional government officials, and NGO representatives this year.  

During October 2008, the Foundation will be working with its partner organizations in Omaha, NE (Applied Information Management Institute), Springfield, IL (Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau), and Kansas City, MO (International Visitors Council of Greater Kansas City),  in hosting 18 government officials.

Managed by the Open World Leadership Center – a separate entity within the U.S. legislative branch with offices at the Library of Congress – the program is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the Baltic States, by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, first-hand exposure to America’s democratic government, free-market system, and nongovernmental sector.

As participants in the program, the delegates have the opportunity to meet with representatives of federal, state, and local government agencies; economic development agencies; and neighborhood associations. During their meetings participants learn about services provided by local and state governments, the budget process, transparent financial accountability, the allocation of tax dollars and the effectiveness of government programs. They also gain knowledge about regional economic development and cooperation.  

In regards to NGO development, Open World improves the delegate’s administrative, advocacy, and fundraising skills. By visiting nongovernmental groups, interest or advocacy groups, the leaders have the chance to observe how the nongovernmental sector works and how the sector cooperates with the government, the private sector, and local communities.

Open World

Ukrainian officials participating in the Open World Program with Oleksandr Alexandrovych, Minister-Counselor for Economic and Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Ukraine (center in photo) 

The program is a great opportunity for local Ukrainian government leaders to meet their American counterparts for a chance to share experiences and ideas that can ultimately strengthen understanding and the strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United States.

During their time in the United States, the delegates are offered homestays, which allows them to experience American family life.  They also have the chance to take part in cultural and community activities, including visits to museums, galleries, and summer festivals. 

The Open World Program was created in 1999 by the U.S. Congress with the aim of enhancing cooperation between the United States and Russia.  In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program.  Since its establishment, Open World has hosted over 12,000 current and future East European and Eurasian leaders who have left the United States with experience in American government and civil society along with new ideas and practices that they will bring back to their work and to their countries. Even once they return home, Open World promotes continued partnerships and communications between the delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts. 

Open World

Open World delegates with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Steven Pifer (center)

In citing the importance of the Open World Program, Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, said, "Through Open World, mayors, legislators, judges, civil servants, educators and entrepreneurs from across the former Soviet Union have come to know the real America. And whether the ideas they take home are practical, such as publishing city council meeting times in the local paper, or more abstract, such as understanding the importance of judicial impartiality to the rule of law, the net effect of Open World is to strengthen the democratic process in their countries."

For more information, please contact the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation at info@usukraine.org or at  (202) 223-2228.  For more information on Open World, please visit http://www.openworld.gov.

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June 21, 2008
Des Moines Rallies Despite Flood Damage: Ukrainian NGO Managers Arrive June 21
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Scotty Colson in Birmingham

Scotty Colson (right), Assistant to the Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama and long-time community partnership coordinator for USUF, is named Honorary Consul by Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.S., Oleh Shamshur (center), on Friday, June 20, 2008 at a ceremony in Birmingham's City Hall.  Mayor Larry P. Langford (left) welcomed guests, including USUF VP John A. Kun, who attended and presented Scotty Colson with an award from the Foundation.
Photo by Bonnie M. Fountain

 

U.S.-UKRAINE FOUNDATION WELCOMES 40 UKRAINIAN LEADERS THROUGH THE OPEN WORLD PROGRAM

Washington, DCThe Open World Leadership Center has awarded the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation a grant to host 40 local government leaders from Ukraine.  Mayors, local government officials, and NGO representatives will spend either July 25 – August 4, 2007 or August 31- September 8, 2007 in Cincinnati, OH; Des Moines, IA; Little Rock, AR; Louisville, KY; or Omaha, NE examining the issue of accountable governance.

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and its partners – Iowa Sister States of Des Moines; International Training, Education & Business Services & Associates of Des Moines; Cincinnati-Ukraine Partnership of Cincinnati, World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana in Louisville; the Arkansas International Center at the University in Arkansas, and Applied Information Management Institute of Omaha - will host the delegations.  

Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the Baltic States by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and free-market system.

Participants of the program are local leaders from Ivano-Frankivska, Donetska, Sumska, Khersonska, Kyivska, Cherkaska, and Luhanska oblasts.   

While in the United States, the delegates will meet with various city officials, economic development agencies, state representatives, neighborhood associations, and attend city council meetings. During their meetings participants will learn about services provided by local and state governments, the budget process, transparent financial accountability, the allocation of tax dollars and the effectiveness of government programs. They will also learn about regional economic development and cooperation.
“This program provides an opportunity for the Ukrainian local government leaders to interact with their American counterparts to exchange experiences and to have a meaningful dialogue for better mutual understanding.  Many of the issues faced by local government officials in Ukraine, such as economic development, transparency, accountability of governance, city promotion, and interaction with the media, are shared by their American colleagues. These opportunities at the local level help broaden the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine at the grassroots level,” stated Ms. Vera Andrushkiw, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Vice President for External Relations.  Ambassador Steven Pifer, Co-chair of the Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine, as well as Ms. Andrushkiw, gave presentations during the Open World orientation session.

Homestays will allow the Open World delegates to experience American family life.  They will also take part in several cultural and community activities, including visits to museums, galleries, and various summer festivals. 

The Open World Leadership Center has awarded a grant to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation to administer this and similar exchanges in 2007. 

The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia.  In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program.  Thanks to Open World, some 12,000 current and future East European and Eurasian leaders have experienced American civil society and have been exposed to new ideas and practices that they can adapt for use in their own work.  Open World also promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts.  Open World currently operates exchanges for political and civic leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

For more information, please contact Vera Andrushkiw at 202-223-2228 or George Felcyn at 202-466-6210.  For more information on Open World, please visit http://www.openworld.gov.

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