Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York has for many decades been one of the most prominent supporters of U.S. scholars and university research centers engaged in the study of the former U.S.S.R. The Corporation also sponsored major international programs focused on improving U.S.-Soviet relations and promoting cooperation in areas such as arms control and nuclear nonproliferation.
Building on these earlier efforts, the Corporation then began, in the late 1990s, to add an ambitious new dimension to its involvement in the countries of the former Soviet Union, as it sought to engage more directly in the transformation of post-Soviet higher education. When Vartan Gregorian became president of the Corporation in 1997, his interest in supporting the continued intellectual vitality and civic engagement of the beleaguered intelligentsia in Russia and Eurasia then became even more urgent as a result of the Russian financial crisis of 1998. The Corporation grant programs that emerged, known collectively as the Higher Education in the Former Soviet Union (HEFSU) initiative, began in 1998-1999 and are projected to scale down by 2010, with total grant funding over the course of the initiative at nearly $50 million. Taken as a whole, and especially when considered together with coordinated and often cofunded efforts by major partners such as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, Carnegie Corporation’s HEFSU initiative represents one of the largest and potentially most influential international higher education partnership programs of our time.