Around the Institute

Aspen Institute Kyiv: Preparing Young Leaders in Ukraine

March 2, 2016  • Aspen Institute



Aspen Institute Executive Vice President Elliot Gerson meets with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv, Ukraine. Gerson was in Ukraine to celebrate the work of Aspen Institute Kyiv, which launched last November. Aspen Institute Kyiv is dedicated to promoting values-based leadership in Ukraine and neighboring countries.

Below is a translation from a press release issued by the government of Ukraine.

President Petro Poroshenko, at a meeting with the Aspen Institute delegation headed by Executive Vice President Elliot Gerson, discussed the importance of the Aspen Institute system for preparing new leaders.

The president emphasized that the assignment of implementing reforms required new leaders, and said that currently in Ukraine there is a lack of strong leaders capable of taking upon themselves the responsibility to implement critically needed reforms. The president spoke to Gerson in English.

“The most important thing we need are leaders who are responsible, patriotic, with good values, and professional,” said Poroshenko.

The head of state noted that in little more than a year and a half of his work, and more than a year of work of the government, despite a few weaknesses, from the point of view of reform, a lot has been accomplished. In his words, many representatives who are very ably representing Aspen Institute values and experience are currently working in the government: “They are the representatives that I am proud of, that I delegated and proposed to be a part of the government. Not for a minute have I been disappointed in their activities,” said Poroshenko.

For his part, executive vice president of the Aspen Institute in the United States and a Trustee of Aspen Kyiv, Elliot Gerson said that their US institution, which was founded in 1949, has sponsored independent Aspen Instututes in 10 countries around the globe. They help improve functioning of government at the national, regional, and local levels, strengthen the role of civil society, and engage ordinary citizens in the quest for the good society. “We want to see this happen in Ukraine, as we do in the United States and in other Aspen countries: the cultivation of our commonly shared values, improved governance, strengthened rule of law, and an effective fight against corruption,” said Gerson.

During the meeting, [the two leaders] discussed the plans to create a representative Aspen Institute office in Kyiv and to start leadership programs as the foundation of this initiative.

The meeting was attended by Ukrainian alumni of the Aspen Institute program, including Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Hennady Zubko and Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalia Jaresko.