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Natalia Arno

Professional affiliation

President and Founder, Free Russia Foundation

Full Biography

Ms. Natalia Arno is a prominent fighter for the advancement of democracy, human rights and freedom. From 2004 to 2014, Ms. Arno worked for the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Russia office. For her work in support of human rights and civil society in Russia, in 2012, Ms. Arno was given an ultimatum by Putin’s security services— to leave her homeland in 48 hours or face 20 years in prison on treason charges. 

Ms. Arno resolved to continue her fight and, in 2014, she created Free Russia Foundation (FRF) to serve as a platform for pro-democracy Russians. FRF provides support to civil societies of Russia and Belarus and has programs to assist Ukraine. FRF is a powerful global movement with centers in Washington, DC and Brussels; Kyiv and Lviv, Ukraine; Tbilisi, Georgia; Warsaw, Poland; Prague, the Czech Republic, Berlin, Germany; Vilnius, Lithuania and Tallinn, Estonia.