For Immediate Release
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Executive Director John O’Keefe will honor eight Open World hosts in a ceremony this weekend in Jacksonville. The event will take place in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wood. Mr. Wood is dean of Continuing Education at the University of North Florida.
Florida has hosted 719 Open World participants from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan since the Open World program began in 1999 making it one of the most-visited states in the Open World program. In addition to Jacksonville, past Florida host cities include Brandon, DeLand, Fort Lauderdale, Largo, Panama City, Plantation, Sanford, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Weston.
Senior U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger and GlobalJax are co-hosting a group of five Russian judges from across the Russian regions in Jacksonville from April 21 – 28 on the Open World program.
The honorees are:
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and Judge Harvey Schlesinger
GlobalJax and its executive director, Sondie Frus and husband John
Felix Frayman and Lois Becker
Open World has introduced more than 17,750 current and future decision makers from Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union to American political and civic life, and to their American counterparts. Open World delegates range from first-time mayors to veteran journalists, from nonprofit directors to small-business advocates, and from political activists to judges at all levels.
In addition to Russia, Open World also operates dynamic programs in Ukraine and has expanded to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia. In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program. Open World promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts.
For more information on Open World, visit our website at http://www.openworld.gov. Follow us on Twitter @OWprogram and Facebook.