June 4

Thomas Graham

Putin and the Pandemic: What’s to Come in Russia

Zoom Webinar

June 4, 2020 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET

Like many other leaders around the world, Vladimir Putin had great plans for 2020. During this year, he hoped to lead Russia towards a position of greater global influence, and subsequently increase his own power. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited Russia’s ability to grow, as Putin must now turn to crisis mitigation and economic rebuilding. Tune in on Thursday, June 4th, from 2 PM to 3 PM EST to hear about Putin’s plans for Russia during COVID-19, when we speak with Thomas Graham, a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

What is one way the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Vladimir Putin’s goals for 2020?


Thomas Graham

Thomas Graham is a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also currently a senior advisor at Kissinger Associates, Inc., where he focuses on Russian and Eurasian affairs. He is a cofounder of the Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies program at Yale University and sits on its faculty steering committee. Graham was special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia on the National Security Council staff from 2004 to 2007, during which he managed a White House-Kremlin strategic dialogue. He was director for Russian affairs on the staff from 2002 to 2004.

Graham was a lecturer in global affairs and political science at Yale University from 2011 to 2019, teaching courses on U.S.-Russian relations and Russian foreign policy, as well as cybersecurity and counterterrorism. He was a Foreign Service officer for fourteen years. His assignments included two tours of duty at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in the late Soviet period and in the middle of the 1990’s during which he served as head of the political internal unit and acting political counselor. Between tours in Moscow, he worked on Russian and Soviet affairs on the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a policy assistant in the office of the under secretary of defense for policy.

Graham serves on the Kennan council of the Kennan Institute of the Wilson Center and on the advisory board of Russia Matters, a project of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs with the goal of enhancing the understanding of Russia among policy-makers and the interested public. He also serves on the editorial board of the US-Canada Journal of the USA-Canada Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Graham holds a BA in Russian studies from Yale University and an MA in history and a PhD in political science from Harvard University.

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