Woodrow Wilson Center to Honor Neville Isdell and Ludmila Verbitskaya at the 2008 Kathyrn and Shelby Cullom Davis Awards Dinner
On Wednesday, December 3, 2008, Ludmila Verbitskaya, President of St. Petersburg State University and Neville Isdell, Chairman of The Coca-Cola Company and the U.S.-Russia Business Council, will be honored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution. Professor Verbitskaya will receive the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, and Mr. Isdell will receive the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship at the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Awards Dinner to benefit the Center's Kennan Institute.
The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Awards Dinner was established through a generous donation from Kathryn W. Davis and her family, recipients of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in 2006 and is intended to raise public awareness of individuals demonstrating outstanding and enlightened corporate citizenship and public service in connection with the U.S.-Russian relationship.
Ludmila Verbitskaya is a visionary educator whose contributions to education at the local, national, and international levels are truly extraordinary. At St. Petersburg State University, one of Russia's oldest institutions of higher education, she was elected in 1994 as first female rector in university history after decades of service as an educator and administrator. Under her leadership, the university added the Faculty of International Relations and the Medical Faculty to meet the challenges of the modern era. She has long been a leader on the national and international stage for the promotion of the Russian language and its study, and for the integration of the Russian academic community with the broader international community. Among the many commissions and international organizations on which she serves, she is on the board of the Centers for Advanced Study and Education, which promotes advanced research in the social sciences across Russia and helps Russian scholars build international networks. Professor Verbitskaya is also Chairperson of the Russkiy Mir Foundation, which is dedicated to the mission of promoting appreciation of Russian language, heritage, and culture worldwide.
Since joining The Coca-Cola Company in Zambia in 1966, Neville Isdell has demonstrated outstanding leadership in building the global brand of an iconic American company. In doing so, he has built a proven record in forging new partnerships worldwide between business, government and civil society. His commitment to building sustainable communities in every country where The Coca-Cola Company does business has helped make Coca-Cola part of the fabric of local communities in more than 200 countries. He led the introduction of Coca-Cola into new markets in India, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. After retiring in 2001, Mr. Isdell was called out of retirement in 2004 to serve as Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. He led a resurgence of the business, and today he serves as Chairman of the Board. In addition to his success as a corporate executive, he has made vital contributions in connection with the U.S.-Russian relationship. In the 1990s, he played a key role in establishing the U.S.-Russia Business Council. As its current Chairman, Mr. Isdell has presided over the Council's emergence as a crucial lynchpin in the U.S.-Russian relationship.
When: Wednesday, December 3, 2008; 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Mayflower Hotel; 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW; Washington, DC
Established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Woodrow Wilson Center is a living national memorial to President Wilson. The Center's mission is to commemorate the ideals and concerns of Woodrow Wilson by providing a link between the worlds of ideas and policy, while fostering research, study, discussion, and collaboration among a broad spectrum of individuals concerned with policy and scholarship in national and international affairs. Supported by public and private funds, the Center is a nonpartisan institution engaged in the study of national and world affairs. It establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue. Conclusions or opinions expressed in Center's publications and programs are those of the authors and speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center staff, fellows, trustees, advisory groups, or any individuals or organizations that provide financial support to the Center. The Center is the publisher of The Wilson Quarterly and home of the Woodrow Wilson Center Press, dialogue radio and television, and the monthly newsletter "Centerpoint." For more information about the Center's activities and publications, please visit us on the web at
The Kennan Institute bridges the divide between the world of ideas and the world of public affairs by bringing scholars and governmental specialists together to discuss political, social, and economic issues affecting Russia and other successor states to the Soviet Union, seeking always to place these issues within their historical context.
Seats are $500 per person ($250 government/nonprofit). Sponsorships begin at $10,000. Dress is business attire. To register, or for information on sponsoring a table at the dinner, please contact Ms. Elizabeth Conatser at (202) 526-1984.