About Us

Established as the Russian Institute in 1946, the Harriman Institute at Columbia University is one of the world’s leading academic institutions for the study of Russia, Eurasia, and East Central Europe. The Institute was renamed in 1982 to honor an extraordinarily generous donation from the family of W. Averell Harriman. Throughout the years our faculty and alumni have made important contributions to academia, and have also played leading roles in public policy, law, diplomacy, business, and the arts. Notable among them are former head of the National Security Council, Zbigniew Brzezinski; former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State, Marshall Shulman; former Ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock; former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.

The Institute currently houses a diverse multi-disciplinary faculty from Columbia’s School of Arts and Sciences, Barnard College, the Schools of International and Public Affairs, Business, Law, and the Arts, and Teacher’s College, and the Union and Jewish Theological Seminaries.  We support teaching, research, and public events that bring together our extraordinary faculty, students, and alumni. From “brown bag” lectures, book presentations, art exhibitions and film screenings, to scholarly panels and conferences, the Institute provides a constantly evolving forum for intellectual discussion and innovation.

In addition to offering undergraduate and graduate courses, the Institute administers an MA program in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies, which admits approximately 10 students per year. We are committed to training the next generation of regional specialists, who will continue to shape policy, fill leading academic positions, and challenge the accepted truths about how we study our rapidly changing world. 

The Harriman Institute is a non-profit institution kept alive by the generous contributions of donors, including the Mary W. Harriman Foundation, our most generous perennial donor.  As of June 30, 2012, the Institute’s endowment totalled $46 million, and our total expenditures for 2011-12 came to just under $2.7 million. Our numerous endowments account for approximately 90 percent of our revenue. For additional information on our donors and budget, please see our Annual Report.

To learn more about the Harriman Institute visit us on our webpage at www.harriman.columbia.edu; find us on Facebook; and follow us on Twitter.