About Russia Matters

Russia Matters is a project launched in 2016 by Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The project’s main aim is to improve the understanding of Russia and the U.S.-Russian relationship among America’s policymakers and concerned public. It does so by showcasing the best expertise on Russia and its relationships with the rest of the world by providing top-notch analysis, relevant factual data and related digests of news and analysis. Initially, the project’s contributors and institutional partners will be primarily U.S.-based and its main platform for pursuing its goals will be this website.

The specific aims of Russia Matters are to help:

  • U.S. policymakers and the general public gain a better understand­ing of why and how Russia matters to the United States now and in the foresee­able future and what drivers propel the two countries’ policies in areas of mutual concern;
  • Ensure that U.S. policies toward Russia are conducive to the advancement of long-term U.S. vital national interests, but that they also improve cooperation in areas where interests converge and mitigate friction in areas of divergence;
  • Foster a new generation of Russia experts.

Russia Matters likewise endeavors to build bridges between academe and the policymaking community.

It is our sincere hope that this endeavor will help advance a viable, analytically rigorous U.S. policy on Russia guided by realism, verifiable facts and national interests without sacrificing opportunities for bilateral cooperation.

Project Team

  • Graham Allison, Principal Investigator and member of the Russia Matters Editorial Board
  • Simon Saradzhyan, Director
  • Natasha Yefimova-Trilling, Editor
  • Angelina Flood, Web Coordinator / Editorial Assistant
  • Rotating student associates (currently Sarah Vansickle of Harvard University)

Past student associates have included:

  • Andrew Gellerman, Boston University

Russia Matters Editorial Board

Rawi ‎Abdelal, Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management, Harvard Business School; Director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University

Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School

Deana Arsenian, Vice President, International Program and Program Director, Russia and Eurasia, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Thomas Graham, Managing Director at Kissinger Associates; Senior Fellow, Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs; Co-Founder and Co-Director of Yale’s Russian Studies Project

Henry Hale, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, and Co-Director of the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS-Eurasia)

Andrew C. Kuchins, Senior Fellow, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies, Georgetown University

Robert Legvold, Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Columbia University

Olga Oliker,‎ Senior Adviser and Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Matthew Rojansky,‎ Director, Kennan Institute, Wilson Center, and Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS

Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Paul Saunders, Executive Director, Center for the National Interest, and a member of the Center's Board of Directors