Reflection by: Caroline Lee, Cognitive Sciences & Policy Studies, Global Health Technologies Minor '19
With support from the School of Social Sciences Gateway Program, I was able to spend a week in Russia as a part of the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum.
The annual Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum brings together 15 undergraduate or graduate students from the United States and 15 students from Russia to conduct research on issues spanning public policy, business, and international affairs. The program composes of a fall conference in Moscow, eight months of collaborative research, and a capstone conference in the spring at Stanford University to present our research. I was chosen as a delegate in the “Business Opportunities in Healthcare” working group where I am currently working with two Russian surgeons to research potential collaborations in the biotechnology industry.
Over the course of this week, we spent time in both Moscow and Tyumen, Siberia. Each day was packed with talks with both Russian and U.S. government officials, research interviews, presentations, and cultural excursions. We held meetings with several high-profile diplomats including the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov, Ambassador Jon Huntsman, senators from the Federation Council, and the Governor of Tyumen.
In times of great polarization between U.S. and Russia, and also within our own country itself, the need for productive and respectful dialogue, in addition to cross-cultural understanding, is as essential now as ever. I am thankful for the opportunity to create valuable relationships with my Russian colleagues and pursue my interests in policy, international healthcare, and global affairs.