Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Magazine

Alumni Notes
Anita Demkiv

My time at the Harriman Institute was marked by an exciting intellectual atmosphere and notably different geopolitical landscape. At the time, Ukraine was on the brink of electing Viktor Yushchenko as president, but a likely stolen election ushered in the Orange Revolution. Drawing on my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, work in the NGO community in Kyiv, and guidance from Professor Peter Juviler, I wrote my master’s thesis: “Civil Society’s Role in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.” Other professors who influenced me included Catharine Nepomnyashchy, Alexander Motyl, and Mark von Hagen.

Although professionally I focus on renewable energy projects, my dedication to Ukraine continues. I proudly serve on the board of Sublimitas, a nonprofit dedicated to helping orphans in Ukraine pursue higher education. Founded by Alla Korzh, a Harriman Fellowship recipient and native of Chernihiv, Ukraine, Sublimitas has continued throughout the war to support and mentor vulnerable Ukrainian students.

My experience at the Harriman Institute—including a Harriman PepsiCo Travel Fellowship that enabled me to conduct interviews with NGO leaders in Kyiv and Lviv for my thesis— profoundly shaped my path and perspective. The institution is invaluable for fostering dialogue, thought leadership, and empowering scholars and practitioners to navigate the complex landscape in Ukraine and beyond.