U.S. senator presents grantee of merit award to Rotary International
From left, U.S. Senator Stevens presents the 2008 Open World National Grantee of Merit to Rotary on 20 May, in Washington, D.C., USA. Accepting the award are Wilkins and Trustee Jones. Photo by Igor Inozemtsev
U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, of Alaska, USA, on 20 May, awarded the 2008 Open World National Grantee of Merit to Rotary International for its ongoing commitment to sharing U.S. political and civic life with future Russian leaders.
The senator presented the award to Rotary Foundation Trustee Carolyn Jones of Anchorage, Alaska, USA, and Past RI Director Grant Wilkins of Denver, Colorado, USA. Both have played a role in the success of the Open World program.
"I am excited to see the evolution of the Open World program over these nine years and the continued partnership between Rotary International," said Jones, in a release. "Rotary’s mission is to promote peace and world understanding, whereas Open World’s goal is to increase U.S.-Eurasian understanding and partnership. We were a natural fit."
Established by the U.S. Congress in 1999, the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress is intended to enhance cooperation between United States and the countries of Eurasia and the Baltic States. To achieve this, Open World develops a network of leaders who travel to the U.S. to experience and learn about democracy, accountable government, and a free-maket system.
Stevens, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Girdwood, Alaska, praised Jones for her role in the program.
"I am particularly appreciative of the work she has done to make the Open World program successful," said Stevens. "She has demonstrated a great commitment to service throughout her career, and her efforts have been recognized both in the United States and in Russia."
Wilkins, who was also on hand to accept the award on behalf of RI, helped organize the latest Open World initiative in Denver. Thirty Russian health care professionals spent a week in April examining health fairs with the expectation of implementing the same type of exhibitions back home.
"It’s really a win, win, win," said Wilkins. "The government pays. We host the visiting Russians. And they go back and say ‘Go Rotary.'"
Learn more about the Open World Leadership Program.
Download RI’s Open World Program brochure for complete details on host requirements, including financial responsibilities.