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Woodrow Wilson Center Award for Public Service winner Viktor Vekselberg
Photo: Valery Melnikov
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Oct. 22, 2007
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Viktor Vekselberg Wins American Award
Co-owner of TNK-BP Viktor Vekselberg was the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Center Award for Public Service at a well-attended dinner at the Mandarin Orient Hotel in Washington, DC, last Friday. The $500-a-plate event was sponsored by Leonard Blavatnik's Access Industries and cosponsored by such companies as Alcoa, BP America, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Columbus NOVA (a subsidiary of Renova Media Enterprises) and TNK-BP.
According to rumor, Vekselberg was to receive the award from the influential organization last year, but that was prevented by an “enemies and intrigues,” in Blavatnik's words, or by the failure to complete the obligatory documentary film about the winner on time. Chairman of the Federal Fitness, Sports and Tourism Agency Vyacheslav Fetisov, Director of the Mariinsky Theater Valery Gergiev, Blavatnik and Alcoa Co. director Alain Belda were among those praising Vekselberg in that film.

The ceremony was delayed for nearly two hours to wait for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Kudrin, whose plane arrived late from Moscow. The award was presented by president of the Wilson Center Lee Hamilton. The award is traditionally given for contributions to Russian-American relations. In Vekselberg's case, is was given in recognition of his revival of the tradition of Russian philanthropy through the foundation he established, The Links of Times. That organization was instrumental in the acquisition and return to Russia of the jeweled eggs of Carl Faberge and the bells of Moscow's Svyato-Danilov Monastery, which had been taken to Harvard University after the Russian Revolution.

Patricia Cloherty, chairman and CEO of Delta Private Equity Partners, was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship this year as well.



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