August 9, 2013, Vol. 5, Issue 3
WASHINGTON, DC – On June 24, Open World welcomed its first group of Senator Ben Nelson Fellows from Russia, shown here with former Sen. Nelson (fourth from left), Trustee Dr. James Billington (second from right), Executive Director John O’Keefe (far left), and Open World’s Alexander Khilkov (far right). Open World’s board created the fellows program in early 2013 to honor Sen. Nelson’s support for Open World and his dedication to improving ties between the United States and post-Soviet countries. The delegation’s professional exchange was conducted in Omaha, NE, by the Council Bluffs Sister City Association. On June 26, the Russians and their local hosts were guests of Open World Chair Walter Scott, Jr., and his wife, Suzanne, at their Omaha home.
In the Field
MIAMI, FL, and BOSTON, MA – In April, Open World hosted two delegations of judges from the Court of Cassation, Egypt’s highest court. One delegation went to Miami, where U.S. Bankruptcy Chief Judge Emeritus A. Jay Cristol served as host judge; the other delegation went to Boston, where U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joan N. Feeney and U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler served as host judges. The Egyptians were Open World’s first delegates from outside Eurasia.
In Boston, sessions on mediation and judicial ethics got high marks from the delegates, as did an opportunity to view part of a criminal jury trial. The judges also attended a presentation cosponsored by their local host organization, WorldBoston, that included speakers and members from the American Jewish Committee and the American Islamic Congress. Another highlight was attending a luncheon presentation featuring former Canadian Ambassador to Iran Ken Taylor, who protected American diplomats during the Iranian hostage crisis, as portrayed in the film Argo.
The Miami delegates, hosted by the Miami Council for International Visitors, also observed a criminal jury trial, and received an in-depth introduction to the U.S. bankruptcy court’s IT system and to U.S. judicial independence. One delegate who had introduced courtroom automation in the Court of Cassation spent extra time behind the scenes with the bankruptcy court’s IT experts. The delegates met with numerous federal and state judges eager to learn about the situation in Egypt. One of the Egyptian judges made a presentation at the University of Miami School of Law on the state of the Egyptian judiciary. National grantee: FHI360
Making a Difference
KIROV OBLAST, RUSSIA – In June 2013, Open World alumna Tatyana Polozova founded a Friendship Force club in the town of Darovskoy, in western Russia’s Kirov Oblast. Modeled after the Friendship Force of Memphis, which hosted Polozova and other local legislators from Kirov Region in December 2012, the Darovskoy club hosted its first Friendship Force delegation in July. Nine Australian Friendship Force members stayed with local host families while visiting area museums, becoming acquainted with local food production, and touring Kirov Region. The group also had a roundtable with Darovskoy town officials.
As of today there are 11 Friendship Force clubs in Russia. Atlanta-based Friendship Force International is a longtime Open World grantee.
In the Field
WASHINGTON, DC – For its inaugural Turkish exchange, Open World hosted 24 Turkish judges and prosecutors in June as part of its rule of law program. The delegates began their trip with an intensive orientation in Washington, DC, that covered judicial selection, education, and training, among other topics. While in Washington, the Turkish jurists toured the Supreme Court and participated in a videoconference with the chair of the federal judiciary’s International Judicial Relations Committee, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain. Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan hosted a reception for the delegates before they departed for their local programs. The four host communities and the hosts were:
Boston, MA, hosted by U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf and U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns, District of Massachusetts, and Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Robert J. Cordy, supported by the International Rule of Law Consortium.
Chicago, IL, hosted by Collins T. Fitzpatrick, Circuit Executive for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, supported by the Council of International Programs Chicago.
Oklahoma City, OK, hosted by Chief U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, Western District of Oklahoma, supported by the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City.
Peoria, IL, hosted by Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, Central District of Illinois, supported by the Peoria Area World Affairs Council.