Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is a founding partner of the Russia Matters project, which was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Stanton Foundation. The center is the hub of Harvard Kennedy School's research, teaching and training in international security and diplomacy, environmental and resource issues and science and technology policy. It has a dual mission: (1) to provide leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the most important challenges of international security and other critical issues at the intersection of science, technology, environmental policy and international affairs; and (2) to prepare future generations of leaders for these arenas. Building on the vision of founder Paul Doty, the center integrates the insights and research of social scientists, natural scientists, technologists and practitioners in government, diplomacy, the military and business. 

Russia and U.S.-Russia relations make up an important element of the center’s activities, from broader initiatives like the International Security Program (ISP) to more specialized ones like the U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism (IPNT). In addition to the Russia Matters project, Belfer research concerning Russia covers a wide range of subjects, including the prevention of nuclear terrorism and the effects of energy supply and demand on international politics, as well as matters of international diplomacy and security more generally. Belfer Center projects that have touched on Russia also include Managing the Atom, the Future of Diplomacy Project, the Geopolitics of Energy Project and the Defense and Intelligence Project.

The center has a long list of experts and fellows who focus on Russia and the surrounding region in their work. At the time of Russia Matters' launch in November 2016 they included: then director of the Belfer Center, Graham Allison, who has been studying and writing about various aspects of U.S.-Russian relations and Russia itself for decades; then executive director for research, Gary Samore, who specializes in issues of arms control and nonproliferation; Brigadier General Kevin Ryan (U.S. Army retired), then director of the Defense and Intelligence Project and founder of the Elbe Group, whose work on Russia concerns primarily military-to-military relations; senior fellow William Tobey, who directed the IPNT and specializes in nuclear security; Professor Matthew Bunn, likewise an expert on nuclear security; ISP director Steven Miller; and Russia Matters founding director Simon Saradzhyan, who focuses on defense, security and foreign policy.

The Belfer Center also served as the original home of the Russia in Review digest and still hosts all issues published prior to October 2016.