Mark Pomar, Senior National Security Fellow, The Clements Center and former CEO and President, The US - Russia Foundation (USR

On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the Clements Center will welcome Mark Pomar, the Clements Center's Senior National Security Fellow and the former CEO and president of the U.S.–Russia Foundation (USRF), for a talk on "Putin's Russia: Implications for US-Russia Relations" at The University of Texas at Austin. 

Pomar has had a distinguished career in academia, government and the NGO/foundation sector. From 1975 to 1982, he taught Russian studies at the University of Vermont and was awarded tenure. Later in his career, he was a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center (Washington) and an adjunct professor at the Maxwell School (Syracuse University), where he taught courses on international development. 

From 1982 to 1993, Pomar worked as assistant director of the Russian Service at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Munich), as director of the USSR Division at the Voice of America, and as executive director of the Board for International Broadcasting. As a member of the USG Senior Executive Service, he oversaw radio broadcasts, negotiated international agreements for radio transmission (Portugal, Spain, Israel), and testified in Congress on policies, budgets and programs of international broadcasting. In addition, he conducted the first discussions with Soviet authorities about the cessation of jamming (1987-88) and negotiated the opening of RFE/RL news bureaus in Warsaw, Moscow and Kyiv.

From 1993 to 2008, Pomar was a senior executive at IREX, a large international organization operating in 33 countries that administered programs in education, public policy and media. He worked closely with the Department of State and USAID on projects in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East. He served as president and CEO of IREX from 2000 to 2008, and from 2008 to 2017 was the founding CEO and president of the U.S.–Russia Foundation (USRF), a private U.S. foundation based in Moscow that ran programs in entrepreneurship and the rule of law. In that capacity, he forged ties between American and Russian universities and developed programs with the Supreme Commercial Court of Russia, among many other projects.

Pomar has a Ph.D. in Russian studies from Columbia University and a B.A. (summa cum laude) from Tufts University. He is currently working on a book about international broadcasting, covering the policies and practice of the Reagan and Bush administrations. 

For more information on this event, contact Elizabeth Doughtie at

Clements Center for National Security