ATLANTA—Georgia State University Master of Public Policy (MPP) student Kirill Protasov has been named a delegate in the Trade, Economic Relations and Business Development working group of Stanford University’s prestigious U.S.-Russia Forum.
He is one of 31 delegates chosen from among 600 applicants from 167 universities.
The forum brings students from leading Russian and American universities together to collaborate on research in public policy, business, economics and other disciplines. It was established to improve bilateral relations between the countries by encouraging dialogues among policymakers, academics and other professionals.
Delegates are required to complete a major research project and attend a conference in Russia in the fall and another at Stanford in the spring.
“In September, I began working on a team with a person who works as a project director at the Sberbank Technology, a tech department of a major Russian bank, a student from China studying international relations at the University of Rochester and an American student studying sociology and international policy studies at Rice University,” Protasov said. “Our goal is to do some research in the area we’re interested in and produce a paper for publication in a scholarly journal. We are thinking about researching the entrepreneurial ecosystem and business climate for tech companies in the U.S. and Russia.”
Protasov, a Fulbright student from Orenburg, Russia, came to study at Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies after working three years in an economic development agency in the Orenburg Oblast, or region, very close to Russia’s border with Kazakhstan.
“I was head of department of investment and innovation,” he said, “cooperating with private businesses and regional and local authorities.”
Inefficiency in public policy led him to pursue the MPP degree.
“I knew some things needed to be done in another way, but I was not sure how,” he said. “I lacked an economic development policy background. I found out about the Fulbright program and decided to apply to learn more about the economic development approach we use in the U.S. The U.S. economy is a great example of business development with its industry diversification and investment products.
“The Andrew Young School,” he said, “is one of the best public affairs school in the United States. Atlanta is a great place to study economic development, and I really enjoy all the opportunities the school offers.”
Now in his second year in the MPP program, Protasov was awarded the Edmund S. Muskie Scholarship to complete his summer internship at the Economic Development Lab at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. There he conducted economic impact analyses and researched the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Georgia and Puerto Rico.
“I have two options when I graduate,” he said. “I can immediately return to Russia and work with international consulting companies that are working with the government – like McKinsey – or work directly with the government. Or I can stay here one more year and work on an internship related to my field of study, get the practical experience, then go back.”