The Kennan Institute and the entire Wilson Center community mourns the passing of Kathryn Wasserman Davis on April 23, 2013, at the age of 106.
Kathryn and her family were the recipients of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public service in 2006, and she has been the Kennan Institute’s most important supporter over many years. Through their support of the Kennan Institute and similar institutions across the country, Kathryn and the Davis family have done far more than any other institution, group, or individual to ensure that the United States continues to have the capacity to study and to understand the significant trends in Russia and Eurasia.
In her long life Kathryn travelled to Russia more than 30 times. Her first time in the USSR was in 1929, as part of a scientific anthropologic expedition to the Caucasus to check the hypothesis that American Indians were related to Svan Georgians. Since that trip, and throughout the Cold War and the post-Soviet era, Kathryn held a deep love for Russian culture and the Russian people. She was a tireless supporter of institutions and initiatives that promoted international understanding and peace, and we deeply feel her loss. The Kennan Institute extends its deepest condolences to Kathryn’s children, family, and many friends and admirers.