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 and the Stanton Foundation.

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 serious 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.

Russia Matters does not take collective positions. All Russia Matters publications represent only the views of their authors.

Project Team

  • Graham Allison, Principal Investigator and member of the Russia Matters Editorial Board
  • Simon Saradzhyan, Founding Director
  • Angelina Flood, Managing Editor
  • Conor Cunningham, Student Associate
  • Olga Kiyan, Student Associate
  • Mikael Pir-Budagyan, Student Associate

Past employees have included:

  • Ingrid Burke Friedman, Assistant Editor/Project Associate
  • Ted Siefer, Assistant Editor
  • Natasha Yefimova-Trilling, Editor

Past student associates have included:

  • Nini Arshakuni, Harvard University
  • Yana Demeshko, UCLA
  • Kevin Doyle, Harvard University
  • Andrew Gellerman, Boston University
  • Liam McParland, Boston University
  • Aruzhan Meirkhanova, Harvard University
  • Thomas Schaffner, Harvard University
  • Daniel Shapiro, Harvard University
  • Aleksandra Srdanovic, Harvard University
  • Sarah Vansickle, Harvard University
  • Vladyslav Wallace, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Irina Yarovaya, Middlebury Institute of International Studies / Moscow State Institute of International Relations

Russia Matters Editorial Board

Rawi ‎Abdelal, Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management, Harvard Business School

Graham Allison, 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

Timothy Colton, Morris and Anna Feldberg Professor of Government and Russian Studies, Harvard University

Thomas Graham, Distinguished Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Lecturer, Yale MacMillan Center; Co-Founder 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, Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins SAIS; Visiting Scholar, William & Mary

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

Olga Oliker,‎ Program Director, Europe and Central Asia, International Crisis Group

Matthew Rojansky,‎ President and Chief Executive Officer, U.S.-Russia Foundation

Gary Samore, Professor of the Practice of Politics and Crown Family Director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University

Paul Saunders, President of the Center for the National Interest and Senior Advisor at Energy Innovation Reform Project.

Angela StentSenior Adviser to the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and Professor Emerita of Government and Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Co-Chair of Hewett Forum on Post-Soviet Affairs, Brookings Institution