Fort Ross
Fort Ross Dialogue 2015

Fort Ross Dialogue 2015

IMAGESessions Framework: The Importance of ‘Second Track’

The ‘second track’ of non-governmental relations is of increasing importance between Russia and the United States. While governmental representatives are invited to participate, this second track focuses on engagement of business, academics, NGOs, and others outside government. Gatherings such as the Dartmouth Conference have long played this role in the Atlantic dimension, and Fort Ross Dialogue can and should play a similar role in the Pacific dimension of US-Russian relations. Principal benefits are two-fold. First, these conversations can generate new, creative ideas to be implemented by government and society. Second, they can reinforce the upswings and mitigate the downswings in the US-Russia relationship.


Fourth Annual Fort Ross Dialogue
October 19th, 2015

Fort Ross Dialogue works to strengthen the cooperative Pacific dimension of US-Russian relations dating back to the Russian-American Company and its southernmost California settlement in the 19th century. This fourth annual conference continues to build a second track of academic, business and energy relations across the Pacific, with particular emphasis on trans-Pacific trade. In addition, the event will engage new “thought leaders” including young scholars, entrepreneurs and rising regional leaders on both sides, with the goal of helping to place U.S.-Russian relations on a more positive footing.

In partnership with the Kennan Institute and the Stanford-US Russia Forum, we have invited a diverse group of Russian and American university students to participate in Fort Ross Dialogue and the events leading up to Monday’s conference. This year’s topics were chosen to reflect next-generation priorities facing Russian and American youth leaders:

  • Connecting Across the Pacific: Commerce, Exchange, and Tourism between the Far East and Pacific Northwest
  • Global Technology Opportunities: Leveraging Technology to Encourage Regional Development

Registration is by invitation only and is now closed.

We would like to thank our sponsors Chevron, Transneft, and Sovcomflot for making this series of events possible.


Fort Ross Dialogue Monday, October 19th
9:30am – 3:30pm Vintner’s Inn, Santa Rosa

Opening Remarks: 9:30am to 10:00am

  • Sarah Sweedler, President and CEO of Fort Ross Conservancy
  • Ambassador Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Presidential Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation and Ambassador at Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry
  • California State Senator Noreen Evans (Retired)
  • Mr. Oleg V. Stepanov, Minister-Counselor, Deputy Chief of Mission, Russian Embassy to the United States

Energy as a Pacific Rim Economic Driver: 10:15am to 11:15am
Business representatives discuss the Pacific Rim energy industry.

  • Moderator: Alexander Gabuev, Senior Associate and the chair of the Russia in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
  • Andrew McGrahan, President Chevron Neftegaz and Chairman CPC-R at Chevron
  • Mikhail Margelov, Vice President, Transneft
  • Nikolai Kolesnikov, Executive Vice President, Sovcomflot

Break – 15 minutes

Collaboration Across the Pacific: 11:30am to 12:30pm
This panel will highlight existing academic collaboration between Russian and American educational institutions (universities, colleges, research laboratories, institutes and schools) across the Pacific.

  • Moderator: Dr. Trevor Gunn, Vice President, International Relations, Medtronic
  • Steve Pease, Co-chair, The U.S. Russia Foundation
  • Alexander Stadnik, Minister-Counselor, Russian Trade Representation in the United States
  • Vladimir Kuznetsov, Vice-Dean, Department of International Affairs, Vladivostok State Medical University
  • Ken Martinez, Stanford-US Russia Forum

Concurrent Breakout: Next Generation Fort Ross 11:30am to 12:30pm
This year’s Fort Ross Dialogue includes 18 young Russian and American students from both sides of the Pacific. These young professionals will spend one hour in private discussing topics relevant to next-generation US-Russia relations, and report back to the group during the afternoon session. Discussion questions will include: What does the unique history and legacy of Fort Ross mean to the rising generation of Russians and Americans? Are there shared US and Russian goals for the future of the Pacific region and the wider world? How do Americans and Russians perceive China’s rise and the future of US-Russia-China relations? What are the major shared challenges for Russians and Americans in this region, and are we cooperating effectively to address them? How can individuals and organizations remain connected despite the current deep divide in political relations between Moscow and Washington?

Moderated by Matt Rojansky, Executive Director, Kennan Institute; and Ilya Komarov, RF Representative, U.S.-Russia Business Council, and PhD student of the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Lunch: 12:30pm – 1:30pm

History & Culture: Russian Ties to Fort Ross, Past and Present: 1:30pm – 2:15pm

  • Moderator: Sarah Sweedler, Fort Ross Conservancy
  • Dr. Alexander Petrov, Doctor of History, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences: The Russian-American Company and a Historical Perspective on Pacific Trade
  • Dr. Alexander Molodin, Dean of NSAAFA, Novosibirsk: Virtual Fort Ross Project: Architectural Reconstruction of
    Settlement Ross
  • Nicholas Sluchevsky: RAAP – Russian America Archives Project: Accessing a Historical Record
    A bilateral project with the Kennan Institute and the Russian Academy of Sciences

Next Generation Fort Ross Break-Out 2:30 – 3:15pm

  • Readout from team leads and moderators
  • Q/A with audience, team leads, and moderators

Closing remarks 3:15 to 3:30

  • Ambassador at Large Vladimir Vinokurov, Russian Foreign Ministry
  • Sarah Sweedler, Fort Ross Conservancy


Fort Ross Dialogue 2014


Saturday, October 17th, 2015: Fort Ross Harvest Festival

Enjoy a beautiful day at Fort Ross State Historic Park and help us celebrate the autumn season with our Harvest Festival. Also consider joining us for a fantastic four-course Grand Luncheon or Grand Wine Tasting.