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Russian Municipal Leaders Meet With Mayors of Huntsville and Madison
June 21, 2006

Russian "Open World" Delegation Visiting Area To Learn About Municipal Management

Huntsville, AL Ч Three high-level municipal executives from Russia will learn how Alabama politicians and civic leaders manage and promote urban development, economic growth and small business initiatives as part of a unique exchange program focused on accountable governance. The visit is sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress and hosted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville Office of International Programs.

The Russian delegates are: Yuriy Ivanov, First Deputy Head of the Kursk City Administration; Mikhail Kharlamov, Head of the Department of Finance, Uvat District Administration; and, Oskar Zianurov, Director, Gorno-Altaysk Energy Municipal Enterprise.
The delegation will be available for a photo opportunity with the press during their meetings with Mayor Loretta Spencer of the city of Huntsville on June 26th at 2:00 P.M. (Office of the Mayor, 308 Fountain Circle, Huntsville) and Mayor Arthur "Sandy" Kirkindall of the city of Madison on June 29th at 3:30 P.M. (Office of the Mayor, 100 Hughes Road, Madison). To RSVP, please contact Tammy Paltchikov (256) 824-6055 or Anna Balishina at (202) 466-6210.

In addition to their meetings with the two mayors, the Russian delegation will visit the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce to learn about Huntsville's economic development initiatives; discuss the Madison area business climate, small business development and business-support organizations with local business leaders at the Madison City Chamber of Commerce; meet with consultants at the Organization of Small Business Owners (OSBO); exchange views with the Executive Director of the Women's Business Center of North Alabama (WBCNA); and attend a luncheon at the Huntsville Rotary Club. The group will also have the opportunity to tour the U.S. Space and Rocket Center during their visit.

The Open World Program is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress that builds mutual understanding between the emerging leaders of participating countries and their U.S. counterparts. It also exposes delegates to ideas and practices they can adapt for use in their own work. Founded in 1999 with a focus on Russia, the program has also in recent years hosted delegations from Lithuania, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Delegates range from mayors to journalists, from nonprofit directors to small-business owners, and from political activists to high-court judges. More than 10,500 Open World participants have been hosted in all 50 U.S. states.

The Office of International Programs (OIP) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville provides support for university students and faculty members to participate in study abroad programs, do research at foreign locations, and attend international conferences to present research findings. In addition, the OIP develops programs to bring international students and foreign faculty members to UAH for continuation of their educational and research objectives. The OIP conducts three to four programs a year for Eurasian delegations. Under the U.S. State Department's Community Connections Program (CCP), the OIP designed and conducted twenty-one, four-week internships for business managers and educational personnel from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

For more information about the Russian delegation or to arrange interviews with the delegates, please contact Anna Balishina at The PEN Company, 202-466-6210. For more background on Open World, please visit http://www.openworld.gov.