PROFESSIONALS FOR COOPERATION ASSOCIATION
The Association was founded in 1997 on the
initiative of Russian-American exchange programs alumni. It unites the alumni of
Russian-American academic, cultural and educational exchange programs, such as Fulbright,
IREX, ACTR, and others. The Association is a non-commercial organization whose work is
oriented towards developing professional cooperation between its members and the like
organizations in Russia and in the U.S. The Association links scholars, teachers,
businessmen and managers everyone who had participated in an exchange program and
who would like both to preserve and to establish contacts with exchange programs
representatives in Russia and with his/ her colleagues. At present, the Association has 37
regional departments, and the establishment of some new departments is underway.
One of the key tasks of the Association is assistance at and participation in building a civil society in Russia. For this, the PFC Association organizes the following events:
The Association has a got a constantly functioning
web-site at www.prof.msu.ru
You can find there the PFC Charter, the list of its regional departments, all the
necessary addresses and phone numbers, current information about grants and competitions
and about events organized by the Association. The number and range of the sites
visitors indicate its popularity both in the Russian regions and different foreign
We also publish PFC annuals that contain detailed information about the Associations conferences and about exchange programs and grants, together with some articles by the alumni. The publication of each issue is followed by a presentation at the American center in Moscow with the participation of the issues authors, American Embassy representatives, and the alumni from Russian regions. To make the Annual readily available, we place the issues at our web-site.
On the initiative of Omsk regional department, we have launched a Newsletter. By the present moment we have published two issues available both in their print and electronic versions.
Cultural activities and conferences for exchange programs participants, regional universities teachers, and our American colleagues.
Starting from June 2001, and up to the present
moment, the Association has held and helped organize 8 conferences and schools. We
regularly hold Fulbright conferences (the 2nd one was held last year in
Yaroslavl, the 3rd one is to take place in October, 2003 in St. Petersburg),
Fulbright Summer Schools, and conferences organized by regional departments (in Omsk,
Yoshkar-Ola, and Vladivostok). Each event had, as participants, our American colleagues,
invited for the purpose, or working in Russia in an exchange program. Getting involved in
those events helped the participants to develop their professional skills, and to form
friendly, informal relationships. To maintain these relationships we have founded a
Fulbright club in Moscow.
The Association was listed among the organizers of the Professional Associations Conference in social studies (Moscow, April 2003).
The American Days in Ekaterinburg (December 2001) were a real success. The Ekaterinburg department of the PFC Association had had its great share in their organization. The U.S. Ambassador Alexander Wershbow appreciated the event, which took place only three months after the terrorist attacks in the USA. Public interest in the American Days showed the deep concern and sympathy that Russian people felt for American people.
Participation in the choice and training of the grantees.
The Association Councils members have been involved in the committees for the choice of IREX and Fulbright programs participants, and for the distribution of grants. We would like to lay special emphasis on our cooperation with the Fulbright program representatives, Kennan Institution and IREX program in Russia.
The Financing of the Associations activities.
The Association is a non-commercial organization and
doesnt require any registration or membership fee from the participants. Therefore,
the grants we receive from the Cultural Affairs Department of the U.S. Embassy and from
the Institute for International Education for organizing schools and conferences, and for
publication of the PFC Annual, have remained the key means to cover the costs of the
In 2003 the PFC Association has won a competition initiated by the Russian Government and obtained the permission to participate in the Program for Reforming Russian Governmental Services, which allows us to involve additional sources of financing.
Some perspectives for the Associations development.
The Association aims at expanding the network of
regional departments and transforming it into an All-Russian organization. Having this in
view, we create new departments in many Russian regions.
In June 2001, the Association included 28 regional departments. At present, the number is 37 departments. Thus, we estimate that in two years it can be transformed from an inter-regional public network into an All-Russian public organization, by means of starting new outlets in most of the Russian regions.
Some perspectives for future activities.
The trends of social changes in Russia are constantly expanding and developing, and, in accordance with these processes, we observe certain changes in the non-commercial organizations activities. The PFC Association links Russian social elite and Russian academic elite. It is obvious that such resources cannot be kept away from social development processes. Therefore, the Associations projects for two years are going to focus on cooperation with regional administrative boards and on creating a network of other non-commercial organizations, both regional and All-Russian. We are planning to use the professional competence of PFC members for the development of regional research programs, to participate in regional conferences, and to contribute to the establishment of Russian civil society with our cultural activities. We are also planning to help American scholars in their research programs in Russia, and Russian scholars who are going to America to conduct research there, with financial support from the U.S. State Department. Our aim is to cooperate with American companies working in Russia.