From March 30, 2015 to April 6, 2015, the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) hosted a group of eight students and a faculty member from Moscow’s Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies (ISKRAN). This was ISKRAN’s twelfth annual visit to CISSM. The visit was part of the joint Collaborative Education and Security Project, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, to develop and foster the next generation of Russian and U.S. leaders in security policy and foreign affairs. CISSM and ISKRAN launched the Collaborative Education and Security Project in 2004, with the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Over the past 12 years, more than 100 students have participated in the project and have been given the opportunity to travel to the United States to exchange ideas and establish connections with American students and experts in their field of study.
Each year during their visit, ISKRAN students receive hands-on policy making experience working with Maryland School of Public Policy (MSPP) students on joint policy memoranda, meeting with experts and policy-makers from leading think tanks and institutions in Washington, D.C., and participating in seminars with MSPP faculty.
This year, the ongoing challenges in U.S.-Russian relations arising from the political crisis in Ukraine reinforced why dialogue between the two countries is necessary to develop a mutual understanding of the issues behind current disagreements. Both ISKRAN and MSPP students emphasized the need for U.S.-Russian dialogue to overcome political crises and to find cooperative solutions to international security problems. Their friendships also demonstrated the role that the next generation of leaders will play in resolving the conflicts of the new century by bringing in fresh perspectives.