WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - City Officials and a mayor from Russia learned how New Jersey elected officials and civic leaders manage and promote economic development and public ethics and civic engagement initiatives as part of a unique exchange program on accountable governance hosted by Monmouth University, September 17 to 24.  The visit by the Russian Delegation was made possible by a congressionally funded grant through the Open World Program.  The grant was received by the Institute for Global Understanding and the Department of Political Science and Sociology at Monmouth University.

Open World is designed to enhance understanding and cooperation between the United States and Russia by developing a network of leaders who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and free-market system.

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From left: Igor Nikolayevich Cherenkov, Aleksey Mikhaylovich Kotenev, Grigoriy Ivanovich Mosolov, Mayor Adam Schneider, Yaragi Usmadiyevich Saydulayev, and facilitator Viktor Vitalyevich Issers.

The four Russian city officials and a facilitator met with Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider and elected officials and administrators from Howell Township.  In addition, panel discussions were held at Monmouth University with professors and community experts on topics such as eminent domain and economic development in New Jersey, local environment issues, and public ethics and civic engagement.  The group will also toured the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Monmouth Park, and the United Nations during their visit.

The Russian delegation included Igor Nikolayevich Cherenkov, Aleksey Mikhaylovich Kotenev, Grigoriy Ivanovich Mosolov, Yaragi Usmadiyevich Saydulayev, and facilitator Viktor Vitalyevich Issers.  They will stay with host families from Monmouth University.

The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 and expanded the program in 2003 to all post-Soviet states. Thanks to Open World, some 15,000 current and future Eurasian leaders have experienced American civil society and have been exposed to new ideas and practices that they can adapt for use in their own work. Open World also promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts. Open World currently operates exchanges for political and civic leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.