MSSR Fellows at the Esalen Institute
MSSR 2018 fellows with Dr. Andrei Zorin, Dulce and Michael Murphy, and Professor Anna Vassilieva during a day trip to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur.  

The Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia (MSSR) brings together twelve graduate students and young professionals, who specialize in Russian Studies and international relations for a summer of study at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. Leading experts from the United States, Russia, China and Europe provide instruction at the summer program with the goal of improving understanding of Russia, honing analytical skills, and networking. In 2020 the MSSR program will be conducted online due to the closure of the Monterey campus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The dates for MSSR 2020 are June 22 through July 24. 

The Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia is built upon an interdisciplinary curriculum taught by leading experts on international relations, diplomacy, nuclear nonproliferation, economics, cyber-warfare and Russian literature and the arts. MSSR fellows are selected from the finest Russian Studies programs in the world.

For approximately seven weeks MSSR fellows interact with Russian, US, and other diplomats, journalists, academics, and scientists. Designed to give its summer fellows the opportunity to examine key issues in US-Russian relations, as well as Russian foreign and domestic affairs, MSSR offers them a rich and diverse curriculum and a stimulating environment in which to interact with internationally renowned experts. All modules taught by Russian experts are conducted in the Russian language. Among this year’s MSSR offerings are modules on international arms control negotiations, the role of science in national security policy, and the formulation of US policy toward Russia. A special effort is made to analyze how history shapes international behavior and strategic interests. Together, fellows and experts use different analytical approaches to gain a deeper understanding of Russia’s behavior and to explore alternative strategies for conducting a more pragmatic and constructive Russia-related discourse.  

The 2020 MSSR is the fourth Monterey symposium. One of the most rewarding outcomes of the first three iterations of the MSSR has been the creation of a personal and professional network among the fellows and experts. It would be difficult to overstate the value of these ongoing relationships.

The Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia would not be possible without the generous support of Carnegie Corporation of New York.


MSSR 2019 Testimonial Video

Participants of the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia share their experiences, impressions, and lessons learned