Message from the Executive Director
The Open World Leadership Center conducts a one-of-a-kind program in the U.S. legislative branch that has hosted more than 29,000 emerging leaders from Russia, Ukraine and other post-Soviet states since 1999. By 2020, Open World will have hosted its 20,000th Russian delegate.
As one of the support agencies of Congress, Open World takes its role seriously and strives daily to be a model agency worthy of the Legislative Branch. To that end, we operate on a fully transparent, cost-effective, and efficient basis. We keep our overhead rate at around 7% and seek more cost sharing opportunities with our partners in Open World countries.
Open World’s young leaders stay in private homes in an American community equivalent to their own. They come to discuss topical issues of mutual interest and to experience firsthand the functioning of our democratic institutions and market economy. The Open World program nurtures civic and political environments where civil society develops not only from the top down, but also from the ground up and the periphery in. Each year, 10-15 new clubs from organizations such as Friendship Force, Rotary, Sister City or others join the Open World network. Due to this network, these future leaders form positive views of the United States and come to recognize the value of good relations.
The Open World program promotes a knowledge-based democracy, one that educates the Open World participant and allows your constituents to engage personally in strengthening civil society. The Open World program continues to dig deeper and wider into American communities and to provide these communities with first-hand opportunities to showcase American values and best practices.
Whether you are a delegate, alum, host family, or grantee, I encourage you to keep in touch with us via our website and social media. Thank you for supporting Open World.
Jane Sargus of Washington, D.C. is the Executive Director of Open World Leadership Center. Before assuming her duties as Executive Director, Ms. Sargus brings 40 years of federal experience to the Open World Leadership Center.
Having served as Open World’s Program Administrator and Budget Officer from 2008 to 2012, Ms. Sargus crafted the congressional budget justification for the Appropriations Committee in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. With her financial management experience and a deep understanding of international programs in the Legislative Branch, Ms. Sargus performed in-depth analysis and research on multiple and complex issues related to budget formulation for a program with both national and international impact. From 2012 to 2017, Ms. Sargus rose to serve as Open World’s Deputy Executive Director to manage day-to-day operations for all aspects of the agency and to coordinate its logistical contract of $7 million annually.
Prior to Open World, Ms. Sargus served as a Budget Analyst in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the Library of Congress. Her work supported the Library’s $400 million budget request for congressional oversight committees. In the Library’s Congressional Research Service (CRS), Ms. Sargus provided critical fiscal support for the Frost Special Task Force on the Development of Parliamentary Institutions in Eastern and Central Europe while also serving on the Financial Management Team overseeing CRS’s annual appropriation. Ms. Sargus spent five years in the Library’s John W. Kluge Center managing all aspects of financial operations for more than 20 funds totaling over $71 million.
Jane Sargus has a B.A. from the Miami University in Oxford, OH and graduate work in Business Administration from The George Washington University.