This month, The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) hosted an alumni webinar on the Russian war on Ukraine featuring TFAS Trustee Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky. She spoke eloquently and knowledgeably about the topic, while also discussing the humanitarian crises caused by years of Russian incursions on the territory of Ukraine.
They are fighting for their freedom and for their independence. They are not only fighting for themselves; they are fighting for all those nations who want to have freedom.” – Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky
More than 70 alumni tuned in to the live interview to hear insights from Dobrianksy. A foreign policy expert and former diplomat specializing in national security affairs, she brings more than 30 years of government and international experience across senior levels of diplomacy, business and defense.
During this virtual session, TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 interviewed Dobriansky on topics of American interest in the war, geopolitical consequences, factors that have led up to this crisis and the next steps for America. Alumni interacted in the chat and submitted thoughtful questions throughout the webinar. Following the interview, Dobriansky answered alumni participants’ questions regarding the war in Ukraine.
Alumni participants joined the conversation from across the globe, representing several countries including:
When asked about what the United States and the international community need to consider about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Dobriansky mentioned that not only are millions of Ukrainians left homeless with their country destroyed, but there are also global ramifications for countries that rely on Ukraine for agricultural resources.
“This crisis is massive; the figures of refugee outflow has ranged from 11-13 million,” Dobriansky stated. “It’s daunting. It’s also daunting in the massacre we see on building structures, infrastructure in Ukraine, and disrupted supply chains.”
She strongly urged listeners and all Americans to support the liberty and self-governance of all people in all captive nations.
“It’s so crucial to support the Ukrainian military in this fight, because this is what they are fighting for,” she said. “They are fighting for their freedom and for their independence. They are not only fighting for themselves; they are fighting for all those nations who want to have freedom.”
During the webinar, Dobriansky highlighted her family’s connection to TFAS. She reminisced about her father Lev Dobriansky, a longtime director of TFAS programs and beloved professor, and what his response to the current crisis would have been. She also mentioned that her sister Larissa is a TFAS alumna.
“It was an honor and privilege to speak with TFAS alumni today,” she said. “You have a Dobriansky family that is absolutely committed to The Fund for American Studies.”
Ream said the interview allowed him to explore and learn more about this important issue while simultaneously reflecting on the impact of TFAS programs have had on the 46,000-strong Alumni Network.
TFAS alumni are making a difference throughout the world. It is truly inspiring what we are able to accomplish working together.” – TFAS President Roger Ream ’76
“This program for alumni caused me to reflect on the impact TFAS has been having for many, many years, thanks to the hard work of staff and faculty, past and present, and the generous contributions of our donors,” he stated. “TFAS alumni are making a difference throughout the world. It is truly inspiring what we are able to accomplish working together.”
Watch the full interview here:
This event was part of an exclusive new online series for TFAS alumni to provide continuing education programming on important topics. The next webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28. TFAS Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Anne Bradley will give an insightful discussion on “The Economics of Terrorism.” Register now at alumni.TFAS.org.