On October 18, the Woodrow Wilson Center's Kennan Institute held its inaugural Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Awards Dinner, an annual event intended to raise public awareness of individuals demonstrating outstanding corporate citizenship and public service in connection with the U.S.-Russian relationship. The event was made possible through a generous grant by Kathryn W. Davis and her family, recipients of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in 2006. Proceeds from the Davis Awards Dinner go to support the Kennan Institute.

This year, the Wilson Center Awards honored Viktor F. Vekselberg and Patricia M. Cloherty, who have dedicated significant parts of their careers to strengthening relations between the United States and Russia. Vekselberg is the chairman of the Board of RENOVA Group and United Company RUSAL, and founder of "The Link of Times" and "Dobry Vek" foundations. Cloherty is chairman and chief executive officer of Delta Private Equity Partners, LLC.

Vekselberg, known internationally as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation, was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service for his outstanding contributions to the rebirth of Russian philanthropy. Using his success in business to benefit his community and beyond, Vekselberg's "The Link of Times" foundation has led the way in repatriating Russian artwork and important artifacts of Russia's cultural heritage for permanent display throughout Russia, including the inspiring acquisition of the Forbes collection of 15 Fabergé eggs. He has generously funded the restoration of the Lowell House Bells to their original location in the St. Danilov Monastery, while also providing Harvard University with Russian-made replicas of these pre-revolutionary bells. The "Dobry Vek" foundation, one of the few family foundations operating in Russia today, was established by Vekselberg and his wife Marina to support projects related to psychiatric issues and research. In recognition of his leadership in artistic and civic organizations, the Government of the Russian Federation recognized Dr. Vekselberg's philanthropic and business contributions in 2005 by awarding him "The Order of Honor."

Patricia Cloherty was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship. Cloherty has had a distinguished career as a pioneering venture capitalist and dedicated public servant. She is the former co-chair, president, and general partner of Apax Partners, Inc.; the former deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; the past president and chair of the National Venture Capital Association of the United States; and the founding president of the Committee of 200, a prestigious organization of leading women entrepreneurs and corporate executives. In 1995, President Clinton appointed her to the Board of the U.S. Russia Investment Fund, where she eventually became its chairman and CEO. She is now the chairman and CEO of Delta Private Equity Partners and manager of the U.S. Russia Investment Fund and Delta Russia Fund, two venture capital firms with more than $500 million invested in 54 Russian companies. Cloherty holds various directorships both in Russia and the United States, including the U.S.-Russian Business Council and Columbia University. In 2004, the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia named Cloherty Businessperson of the Year.

The evening concluded with special remarks on the U.S.-Russian relationship delivered by Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Finance Alexei Kudrin. Congratulating the awardees upon receiving the Woodrow Wilson Award, Minister Kudrin emphasized the importance of private business in Russian society. He noted that private business helps solve social problems at the local level and helps Russia to compete and derive the benefits of the global economy. While the United States is not among the largest investors in the Russian economy, Kudrin expressed his confidence that U.S. investments in Russia will continue to grow.

2007 Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Awards Dinner Supporters

The Kennan Institute was founded as a division of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in December of 1974. The Institute's mission is to improve American understanding of Russia and other successor states to the Soviet Union. For over 30 years, the Institute has supported the research of hundreds of American and Russian scholars, journalists, and policy experts studying the region. In furthering its mission, the Institute has also organized thousands of conferences and meetings that have been attended by tens of thousands of people. Its publications, from meeting summaries to books, have reached students, educators, and policymakers throughout the world.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the living, national memorial to President Wilson. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue.