Alexander Potemkin (diplomat)

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Alexander Petrovich Potemkin (Russian: Александр Петрович Потёмкин; born March 25, 1937) is a Russian-American diplomat who served as the last cultural attaché at the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC. He is currently the executive director of the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation.

Diplomatic career[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

Alexander Potemkin was born in Moscow in 1937. He studied at Moscow State University and graduated from the history department in 1959. He went on to work at the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was later transferred to the Soviet embassy in Reykjavik. Having worked for a number of years in Iceland, he was promoted to the Soviet consulate in San Francisco. In 1986, he became the cultural attaché at the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC. In that capacity, he promoted the expansion of cultural dialogue and exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union, especially in light of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika reforms. He was responsible for getting the go-ahead for Billy Joel's first concert in the Soviet Union.

American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation[edit | hide | edit source]

In 1992, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Alexander Potemkin became one of the founders of the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation, a DC-based nonprofit focused on the promotion of American-Russian dialogue through arts.