14 February 2013

The Alfa Fellowship and PBN H+K: Producing the Next Generation of Russia Specialists

The Alfa Fellowship Program sponsors up to 15 young professionals annually from the United States and the United Kingdom to live and work in Russia for a year. The program has operated for 10 years under Alfa Bank. Alfa Fellows have chosen PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies as their “home-away-from-home” in Moscow in each of the past four years. Two of them, Annie Verderosa and Laura Citron, “graduated” into full-time employees of PBN H+K.

“PBN H+K is proud of its large alumni family after 22 years in Russia and our former Alfa Fellows are no exception. Laura Keith is now Development Director at MPC Social Services, while Annie Verderosa has gone on to work as a Managing Account Supervisor at Ketchum in New York and maintains her focus on Russia. Laura Citron is now Associate Director for Business Development at WPP, the world’s largest communications group, of which PBN H+K is a part. We highly value our partnership with the Alfa Fellowship and encourage any talented young professionals with a keen interest in Russia to apply for the program," said Peter Necarsulmer, CEO and Vice Chairman, PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies. 

The Alfa Fellowship Program strives to provide a deep understanding and extended experience to a new generation of Russia specialists. Since the inception of the program, more than 100 fellows have participated. Every fellow spends a year in Russia attending leading Russian academic institutions, professional seminars, meetings with business leaders and leaders of civil society, and intensive Russian language classes.
In addition, fellows spend more than six months working in Russia. Professional assignments for past fellows have varied from law and investment banking to journalism and social enterprise.
Fellows have repeatedly chosen to do their professional assignment at PBN H+K because of its deep institutional knowledge and because they get to work side by side with leaders in the field. Furthermore, the merger between PBN Company and H+K Strategies gives fellows access to PBN’s unmatched insight into the region and the worldwide footprint of Hill+Knowlton, a member of the WPP Group.
Alfa Fellows at PBN H+K Strategies have gained and built knowledge in corporate communications, marketing communications, government & public affairs and crisis management.
The most recent Alfa Fellow, Stratton Kirton, had this to say about his experience so far: 
“Before coming to PBN H+K, I worked in the public sector and had dealt with communications and public affairs from a very different angle. PBN H+K has given me a chance to see communications, government and public affairs from a different angle and gain valuable experience in the Russian market.”

Former PBN H+K Alfa Fellows include: 
  • Laura Citron (09-10): Associate Director, Business Development, WPP 
  • Annie Verderosa (10-11): Managing Account Supervisor, International Corporate, Ketchum
  • Laura Keith (11-12): Development Director, MPC Social Services. 
Read more about the Alfa Fellowship Program here: alfafellowship.org