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PIR Center Alumni Meeting


ZVENIGOROD, NOVEMBER 23, 2020. PIR PRESS. “Today, feeling the amazing energy of the participants of the XX Anniversary School, of my colleagues and, of course, of those, who we call the PIR Center Community, I want to point out that we are moving in the right direction. Thanks to our common efforts, the PIR Center has crossed a quarter-century threshold and continues to be active, for what I want to express my special thanks to members of our “organized non-governmental community”, ‒ Vladimir Orlov, Founder and Director of the PIR Center.   

On October 3, 2020, on the closing day of the ХХ Anniversary PIR Center International School on Global Security, a PIR Center Alumni meeting took place. It has already become a tradition to bring together everyone who has ever worked at the PIR Center or participated in its educational programs. Those who could not come to Zvenigorod joined the event remotely.  

Vladimir Orlov, Director of the PIR Center, opened the meeting with greetings. He outlined the importance of the event and thanked all the guests who managed to find the time to attend, despite their tight schedules. He voiced deep respect and appreciation to those who stood at the origins of PIR Center’s establishment and who, unfortunately, are no longer with us - Mr. Roland Timerbaev and Mr. Gennady Evstafiev. "These two men laid the foundations of the non-governmental movement in Russia in the sphere of nonproliferation and arms control and boosted the development of the PIR Center and the entire community of Russia’s nonproliferation experts," Vladimir Orlov emphasized.

The Alumni meeting is not only about appreciating our memories of the journey that we have gone through, it is, first of all, an evening of lively chats, good mood, and having a great time among people that we have known for a long time. New graduates of the School gave some creative performances: a participant from Montenegro, Milosava Cerovic, sang a beautiful song in the Serbian language, PIR Center colleagues read poems and participated in various competitions and quizzes.
Our alumni’s success makes the organization extremely proud. They are experienced and committed professionals who are fully satisfied with their professional choices. The initiatives of the PIR Center graduates often go far beyond our community and become a reality of the contemporary international relations agenda.

The event was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere filled with the warmest wishes and words of gratitude. “The PIR Center is a school. School as a learning process, school as a professional experience, school as a community of united people. At PIR Center School, you can only participate once, but it stays with you forever. And every time you come back with gratitude because only after the formal graduation you fully understand how much this School gave you,” Adlan Margoev, analyst of the Institute of International Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), a graduate of the School 2015 and Director of the PIR Center Program “Nuclear Nonproliferation & Russia” (from 2017 to 2019), expressed his gratitude. 
PIR Center School became a unique experience for the graduates that laid the foundation for their professional development. “The PIR Center Summer School has always been a platform that does not only allow participants to gain new knowledge and competencies on a wide range of topical issues but it also became a platform for creating a special community of experts and specialists. For me personally, participation in the Summer School and the subsequent internship at the organization determined my professional interests and specialization, and also helped to start a career in the field of international security,” Sergey Ponamarev, Associate Professor of the Engineering Academy, RUDN, shared his thoughts about PIR Center projects. “At the same time, PIR Center introduced me to many people who became not only my colleagues but close friends. In my opinion, this aspect of expert socialization is even more important than a simple transfer of knowledge since it allows you to create a highly professional international platform for open discussion and resolution of the most burning issues.”
“One can talk endlessly about the uniqueness of the content and exceptionally high level of the invited professionals since there are no equivalents to this School. After a week-long intensive program, you leave the School with the exact baggage of knowledge that you were promised at the beginning. But besides that, you do not just go out into the world in order to pass on the knowledge gained and implement it into your own scientific research, but you become part of a unique group of people for whom “nonproliferation”, “nuclear program”, “information security”, “deterrence” and other concepts become the determining ones - some sort of passwords for entering the “magical world” of people who are not indifferent to the fate of humanity,” says Polina Vasilenko, an independent analyst and expert at the Russian International Affairs Council, School 2019 alumna.

“By participating in only one School you become part of all the previous and subsequent Schools, and the PIR Center has already made 20 titanic attempts to involve young professionals who are eager to demonstrate their talents and expertise,” Polina adds.  
“Participating in the PIR Center International School was undoubtfully the most exciting academic experience I had in Russia! Apart from the unparalleled expertise PIR Center's team has on arms control and nuclear non-proliferation issues, the School covers frontline topics of international politics, such as cyber warfare and artificial intelligence. Fellow participants formed a great team, and it was a pleasure to be surrounded by intelligent, engaged people that shared my passion for international relations,” - Ana Livia Esteves, a journalist at RIA Novosti, School 2019 alumna.  

Alumni meetings are filled with a friendly and cheerful atmosphere: active communication, nostalgic memories, joyful mood. Graduates expressed their warmest congratulations in the guest book. We are looking forward to a new meeting next year!