California, Russia and the Future: A Special Event
Join a discussion on how our shared history and the unique legacy of Fort Ross State Historic Park can be a platform for cooperation and exchange between Russians and Americans, even amid severe challenges in relations between Washington, D.C. and Moscow.
Panel 1—1–2:15 p.m.
Anatoly Antonov, Ambassador of Russia to the United States
Jerry Brown, Former Governor of California
Herman Gref, Former Russian Minister of Economics and Trade; Chairman, SberBank
William Perry, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Under President Clinton
Matthew Rojansky, Director, Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.—Moderator
Panelists will discuss the current state of U.S.–Russia relations and assess whether and how enhanced communication, better crisis management and more fruitful cooperation between our countries may be possible.
Panel 2—2:30–3 p.m.: Russian America and the Native California Collection at the Kunstkamera
Jerry and Kaylee Pinola, Kashaya Pomo and Coast Miwok Tribes
Ksenia Vozdigan, Leading Coordinator, Exhibition Department at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
This panel will explore historic ties between Native California Indians and Russia by sharing images from a rare collection of Native California artifacts collected during the Fort Ross era. Ksenia Vozdigan, leading coordinator of exhibition department at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, will describe how the largest collection of Native California artifacts came to reside in Russia. Jerry and Kaylee Pinola, from the Kashaya Pomo and Coast Miwok Tribes, will talk about their 2014 trip to the museum in St. Petersburg to see their ancestral artifacts for the first time, and they will describe how this connection with Russia remains relevant today.
Panel 3—3–3:30 p.m.: Next Generation Connections
Vladislav Chernavskikh, Graduate Student, Nonproliferation Studies Program of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations
Angelina Davydova, Director, German–Russian Office of Environmental Information in St. Petersburg, Russia
Jake Hecla, Graduate Student, UC Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering
Margo Poda, MBA/MA Student, International Policy and Development Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies
The final panel looks towards the future by bringing four young Russians and Americans from different disciplines to discuss their bilateral work and ideas for the future.
A native Californian, Margo Poda chose to study the Russian language as an undergraduate at Georgetown University—her interest in the language and region stemming from Russia’s unique history and culture. After graduating, Poda headed home to Silicon Valley and worked at a series of tech start-ups as a project marketing manager, focusing on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Now she has returned to school pursuing a joint MBA/MA in international policy and development at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey to further develop key business skills, concentrating on the global entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Vladislav Chernavskikh is a graduate student in the dual degree in nonproliferation studies program of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
Angelina Davydova is director of the German–Russian Office of Environmental Information in St. Petersburg, Russia. Davydova received a degree in economics from St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance. Her nonprofit work focuses on developing environmental journalism in Russia and neighboring countries. She teaches at the School of Journalism at St. Petersburg State University and the Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics.
Jake Hecla is a graduate student at UC Berkeley in the department of nuclear engineering. He earned an undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering at MIT, where he worked on techniques for zero-knowledge warhead verification and assisted in the development of an intraoperative radiation detector with the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute. In his spare time, he works with Clean Futures Fund, a nonprofit providing support to communities near the Chernobyl exclusion zone.
In partnership with the Fort Ross Conservancy and the Kennan Institute
The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, 94105
1–3:30 p.m. program