Join Russia Direct’s roundtable discussion on the current state of U.S. analysis on Russia and its changing role in the world, which will take place on May 12 in Boston, MA, US.

President Barack Obama meets with National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office, March 18, 2015. Photo: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

On May 12, Russia Direct and US-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England invite you to participate in a roundtable discussion “Russia Expertise in American Foreign Policy: The Role of Russian Studies,” aimed at examining the current state of Washington’s analysis on Russia and its changing role in the world.

Almost all major decisions made by the Kremlin in recent years, including the incorporation of Crimea and military operation in Syria, came as a surprise to American policy makers. Their inability to foresee and understand Russia’s moves has naturally attracted a fair amount of criticism.

Our 4 panelists include:

Sheila M. Puffer, University Distinguished Professor and Professor of International Business and Strategy at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University. She is also a fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University;

Nicolai N. Petro, Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island specializing in Russia and its neighboring states. He has previously served in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs in the U.S. Department of State and at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow;

Elizabeth Wood, Professor of Russian & Soviet History, Co-Director, MISTI-Russia Program, Coordinator of Russian Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;

Daniel Satinsky, President of the Board of Directors of the US-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England. He has been engaged in technology-related Russian business projects, market entry for both Russian and U.S. companies for more than 25 years.

The discussion will be for a selected audience of about 50 people, which will include representatives from academia, business and think tanks. It will be moderated by Russia Direct Editor-in-Chief Ekaterina Zabrovskaya.

Our panelists will attempt to answer the following questions:

- Is there a lack of interest in scholarly expertise on Russia in American foreign policy?

- Or is there a general decline in Russian expertise in the U.S.?

- What challenges do think tanks and universities have to deal with today while preparing top experts and producing practical expertise? Does that expertise get heard by the government?

- Is there an ideological divide among Russia experts and, if so, what are the consequences?

- Should Russian Studies in the U.S. be interdisciplinary or narrow and more specific?

If you are interested in participating, email us at and we will provide you with more details. Please note that the number of places is limited.

Watch livestream of the event here May 12, 2016 at 9:00 am (EST).

Do you have any questions about the current state of U.S. analysis on Russia? Submit them to before the discussion for a chance to have your question answered.

When:  May 12, 2016 from 8:30 am to 11:00 am (EST); continental breakfast will be provided. Registration starts at 8:30 am. The event kicks off at 9:00 am.

Where: The Downtown Harvard Club of Boston, One Federal Street, 38th Floor Boston, MA 02110, US.

The event is co-organized together with the US-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England.