03 November 2015
Petr Aven receives Woodrow Wilson Award in Washington, D.C.
On 3rd November 2015, Petr Aven received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship in recognition of his contribution to corporate and public service to U.S.-Russia relations.
The award was given at the 2015 Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Awards Dinner under the auspices of the Kennan Institute at The Wilson Centre in Washington, D.C.
Mr Aven received the honour in recognition of his many achievements in building understanding between Americans and Russians during his career. This includes his position as a former Minister for Economic relations, his tenure at Russia's largest private bank (Alfa Bank), and his role as co-founder of the Alfa Fellowship Program, which helps Americans to work in Russia early in their careers. Alumni of the program include a number of American experts on Russia working in the private sector, government and the non-profit sector in the U.S.
On accepting his award, Mr Aven told a filled ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington that the old Soviet Union and the U.S. had a huge chasm of misunderstanding. He said it was vital that efforts were taken to close the gap and that he was honoured to be part of successful work in that direction, notably the Alfa Fellowship Program. Mr Aven and fellow board member Mikhail Fridman have funded the Alfa Fellowship Program for more than ten years.
Speaking about his support for the organisation, Mr Aven said: “It's an extremely important program…to explain to the Russian people what American business is about and to explain to the American people what Russian business is about,” he said. “The exchange of younger people is crucial to the future."