The Open World Program, sponsored by the Library of Congress, is a unique, nonpartisan initiative designed to build mutual understanding between the United States and Eurasia. Since its inception in 1999, Open World has introduced more than 17,750 current and future decision makers from Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union to American political and civic life, and to their American counterparts. Open World delegates range from first-time mayors to veteran journalists, from nonprofit directors to small-business advocates and from political activists to judges at all levels.
In addition to Russia, Open World also operates dynamic programs in Ukraine and has expanded to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Serbia. The U.S. Congress established Open World to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia. In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program and in 2005, any other country that is designated by the Board of Trustees. Open World promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts.