In 2006 we commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Harriman Institute, the oldest academic institution in the United States devoted to the study of the territory occupied by the countries of the former Soviet Union, East Central Europe, and the Balkans. In this volume we celebrate the richness of our past and the promise and challenge of our future. We have chosen here to showcase what has, from the beginning to the present day, always been the institute’s most valuable resource—its people.
The faculty and students of the institute have, over the course of six decades, played a leading role in shaping United States policy and perceptions of our enormous and complicated region. In this slim volume we can only give a sampling of those who have defined our community over the years. We begin with our own beginnings, with appreciations of our pioneering early faculty written by current Harriman faculty members, and we conclude with snapshots of some of our most recent graduates, who only a few years past graduation have already begun to make their mark in significant ways, carrying on the institute’s legacy of serving as a point of intersection for teaching, scholarship, and action in the world.
As the region we study has become more differentiated, it has also become richer, more fascinating, and more crucial to an understanding of the world in which we live. Adaptability and vision have ever been the hallmark of Harriman faculty and graduates. These are certainly the qualities that will guarantee that they will continue to foster a better understanding of the world in which we live and to use their intellect and learning to make that world a better place.
— Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, Director