Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service. Mikhail B. Piotrovsky, Director, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
On Thursday, October 1, 2009, George A. Cohon, Founder, McDonald’s Сanada/McDonald’s Russia and Mikhail B. Piotrovsky, Director, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia have been honored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution. Prof Piotrovsky received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, at the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Awards Dinner to benefit the Center’s Kennan Institute. The dinner hold at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Awards Dinner was established through a generous donation from Kathryn W. Davis and her family, recipients of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in 2006, and is intended to raise public awareness of individuals demonstrating outstanding and enlightened corporate citizenship and public service in connection with the U.S.-Russian relationship.
In 1992, Mikhail Piotrovsky followed in the footsteps of his father to become director of the world-renowned the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. His decisive leadership has guided the museum through times of economic difficulty and opportunities for expansion with equal skill. His total commitment to cultural diplomacy with the United States includes expanding the museum to include more American artwork and hosting several exhibitions in recent years by American artists. He has been instrumental in providing materials for U.S. exhibitions, such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s exhibit on Genghis Khan, that are educating American citizens about Eurasian cultural heritage. Finally, his work with the Hermitage Museum Foundation helps to deepen cultural ties between the museum and the American people. Although he has received awards and recognitions from many countries around the world, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service will be the first major distinction he will receive in the United States.
The Kennan Institute bridges the divide between the world of ideas and the world of public affairs by bringing scholars and governmental specialists together to discuss political, social, and economic issues affecting Russia and other successor states to the Soviet Union, seeking always to place these issues within their historical context.
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, established by the U.S. Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the living, national memorial to the United States’ 28th president. The Center is one of three American institutions (along with the National Gallery of Art and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts) created by congressional statute to perform a national mission within the Smithsonian Institution and is governed by its own independent Board of Trustees appointed by the U.S. President.