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Statement on the status of the Kennan Institute’s Ukraine office by Director, President and CEO of the Wilson Center Jane Harman

Contact: Ryan McKenna
Phone: (202) 691-4217 

Over the past week, a debate has unfolded regarding a personnel matter involving The Kennan Institute’s Ukraine satellite office. Kennan is The Wilson Center’s oldest geographic program and has been home to more than 1400 scholars over 40 years.

As the safety of our employees and affiliates has been threatened, I have personally contacted high level U.S. officials to explain my concern and request that all possible steps be taken by them and Ukrainian authorities to protect our people.

Among our geographic programs, only Kennan has an affiliate outside Washington and this experience, along with ongoing administrative challenges, has persuaded us to close the office while continuing our fierce commitment to scholarship and programming activities involving Ukraine and the region.

Over the past quarter century, the Wilson Center and Kennan Institute have invested in the work of dozens of scholars from Ukraine who have produced serious analysis from a variety of perspectives on every facet of Ukrainian life.  This investment has been magnified by active support of seminars, public meetings, publications and other forms of academic engagement in Ukraine. 

Our programming on Ukraine has been balanced, professional, and of lasting value.  Moreover, our activities in Washington have promoted a broader understanding of Ukraine in the United States.

We are proud to be voted #1 in the world in regional expertise by our peers. The Kennan Institute, under the able leadership of Matt Rojansky, is a huge reason for this accolade.


 Jane Harman image

Jane Harman

Distinguished Fellow and President Emerita, Wilson Center

Jane Harman, Distinguished Fellow and President Emerita, Wilson Center, is an internationally recognized authority on U.S. and global security issues, foreign relations and lawmaking. A native of Los Angeles and a public-school graduate, she went on to become a nine-term member of Congress, serving decades on the major security committees in the House of Representatives. Drawing upon a career that has included service as President Carter’s Secretary of the Cabinet and hundreds of diplomatic missions to foreign countries, Harman holds posts on nearly a dozen governmental and non-governmental advisory boards and commissions.

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Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier US center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the surrounding region though research and exchange.  Read more