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February 2, 2011

For Immediate Release

Maura Shelden

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Open World Leadership Center, the Congressional agency working to increase U.S.-Eurasian understanding and partnerships, will present its 2011 National Grantee of Merit award during a gala reception Tuesday, February 8. This year’s honoree is the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, of Washington, D.C.,

Dr. James H. Billington, Open World Board of Trustees Chairman and Librarian of Congress, will present the 2011 Open World National Grantee of Merit Award to U.S.-Ukraine Foundation. The award will be accepted by the Foundation’s president, Nadia McConnell. The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation has provided excellent hosting for over 200 emerging Ukrainian leaders for Open World since 2006.

Open World’s national grantees are competitively selected non-governmental organizations and non-profits; local hosts provide professional grassroots programming as well as home stays for individual delegates. The work of the national grantees and local hosts are integral to the Open World program.

Open World has introduced more than 16,500 current and future decision makers from Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union to American political and civic life, and to their American counterparts. Open World delegates range from first-time mayors to veteran journalists, from nonprofit directors to small-business advocates, and from political activists to judges at all levels.

In addition to Russia, Open World also operates dynamic programs in Ukraine and has expanded to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia. In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program. Open World promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts.

For more information contact Maura Shelden at or visit our website at Follow us on Twitter @OWprogram and Facebook.