Anatoly Torkunov celebrates 70th anniversary


MOSCOW. AUGUST 26, 2020. PIR PRESS. “During the twenty eight years of you being in charge, not only have you strengthened MGIMO’s glorious traditions but you have also built a forward-looking university, a university that is looked up not only in Russia but all over the world”, Vladimir Orlov, PIR Center director and MGIMO professor, Evgeny Buzhinsky, Chairman of the Executive Board of the PIR Center.

On August 26 Anatoly Torkunov, Rector of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and PIR Center’s close friend, celebrates his 70th anniversary. Anatoly Torkunov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, presently Rector and Professor of MGIMO, started his career path after graduating MGIMO-University himself. Did he then expect to become its rector for many years ahead? Hardly. However, the university’s dynamic and positive development has been associated with his name for more than 28 years.

Being an extraordinary person, Anatoly Torkunov deftly combines the talents of an reputable leader, a diplomat and an expert. Thanks to his dedicated work and significant contribution to improving the school that studies all aspects of international relations, MGIMO is now considered one of the leading Russian universities, one of the most remarkable universities in the world, and the alma mater of a huge number of professionals.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary, Vladimir Orlov, PIR Center Director, and Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Chairman of the PIR Center Executive Board, sent a congratulatory address to Anatoly Torkunov:

Dear Amb. Torkunov,

On behalf of the PIR Center team, and on our own behalf we wholeheartedly congratulate you on your 70th anniversary!

During the twenty-eight years of you being in charge, not only have you strengthened MGIMO’s glorious traditions, but you have also built a forward-looking university, a university that is looked up not only in Russia but all over the world. Looking at our young colleagues we are constantly convinced that the education received at MGIMO is not just a brand. Yesterday's students leave their alma mater being already seasoned specialists who do not need any additional training and are not scared of the most difficult challenges.

PIR Center is grateful for all the years of fruitful cooperation in terms of preparing specialists in the field of nuclear nonproliferation and global security. And, although, as recent events have shown, the terms “arms control” and “strategic stability” become unpopular in some capital cities, the time to negotiate will come sooner or later. And we are sure – that will be the time when experts, who have participated in MGIMO and PIR Center joint educational programs, will state their firm positions.

You are full of vigor and vitality. Despite holding high position, you are still actively engaged in research, community service, and building expert dialogue with foreign countries. And it is clear that you prioritize  each of these areas, you are involved in developing each of them with enthusiasm and beyond a shadow of bureaucratic coldness.

We wish you sound health, high spirits and prosperity. We are certain that your strong character, perseverance and high professionalism will bring success to any of your ideas and plans.

Our mutual friends and colleagues also join the PIR Center’s congratulations to Anatoly Torkunov. Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Board member of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, and PIR Center Executive Board member writes:

Dear Anatoly Vasilyevich, my friend and schoolfellow, managing our alma mater during the last quarter of the century you have made MGIMO a world-famous beacon of education, enlightenment and science in Russia! I sincerely congratulate you with your 70th anniversary and wish you inexhaustible spiritual, physical and creative forces for decades to come!!! I am proud of you as of a like-minded fellow. Your V. I. Trubnikov.”

The history of fruitful cooperation between MGIMO and PIR Center, which dates back more than 26 years, also started with the personal participation of Anatoly Torkunov, who not only supported the establishment of a leading non-governmental organization specializing in the study of global security issues, but also provided the PIR Center with a "home" at MGIMO. To this day, our legal address is Vernadsky Avenue, 76.

A large number of joint projects, including internship program, educational courses, including the annual module "WMD nonproliferation and global security" courses have held by PIR Center since 2013, have gradually strengthened the cooperation between the expert center and university. The Dual Degree Master's Program "Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation", which is joint run by MGIMO, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and PIR Center, established in 2016, has advanced this cooperation. As a result, today’s academic partnership between MGIMO and PIR Center makes a significant contribution from Russia’s side to promotion of education in the field of nonproliferation and global security. 

Dr. William Potter, academic adviser of the Master's Program from the American side, Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, also joins the congratulations:

On behalf of my staff and colleagues at CNS and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, I wish to congratulate Academician Torkunov on his very special birthday.  I have had the pleasure to know the Rector since his early days at MGIMO, and I am especially grateful for his support of the pioneering Dual Degree in Nonproliferation Studies offered by our two institutions in collaboration with the PIR Center.  We are proud partners in this enterprise. 

To find out more about the contribution of Anatoly Torkunov to the development of PIR Center, go for the article by PIR Center`s Director Vladimir Orlov for MGIMO Journal.