Our committee operates as a committee of the whole, with various members taking on responsibilities as opportunities and needs arise.
Our primary work through the last ten years is providing hospitality and programming for delegations organized and funded by the Open World Program of the Library of Congress. We have hosted groups of state senators, environmentalists, educators, local governmental officials, LGBT activists, and most recently human rights attorneys. Delegates stay in homes of committee members and are provided five days of intense programming in their areas of interest.
We have also hosted the previous governor, Serdyukov, on two occasions and welcome any visitors from our sister Leningrad government or their representatives, including traditional folk musician group sent here to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Sister State relationship.
We try annually to have a delegation from our committee visit our Leningrad friends. This year two young Russian speaking students and their teacher, Julie Mamunes. In 2015 Bob Madden and Tara Clifford who focused on visiting small communities some distance from the core St. Petersburg area. In 2012 a delegation of 20, including the Secretary of State, three members of the House of delegates and interested citizens were wonderfully hosted by the Governor, Legislative leaders and staff of Leningrad Region.
Educational exchanges and partnerships are under formation, spearheaded by Julie Mamunes.
It is our intention to become much more familiar with the Russian contacts and programs already active in Maryland universities.