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Ronald R. (Ron) Pope, PhD
1403 Kingsridge Drive, Normal, Illinois 61761
Phone: (309)454-2364 E-mail:ron42.pope@gmail.com
Skype: ron.pope67


• 1975 Ph.D. International Relations, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

• 1966 M.A. Russian Area Studies, University of California at Los Angeles; completed an additional two quarters of graduate work in Political Science beyond the Masters degree.

• 1964 B.A. Economics, University of California at Riverside.

• 1967-1968 Armed Forces Air Intelligence School, Denver, Colorado.

• 1964-1965 Southern California School of Theology, Claremont, California.

• 1960-1962 Chico State College, Chico, California.


• 1992 to present: Consultant. Clients have included Motorola (Semiconductor Components Group Manufacturing), other medium and small businesses, and individuals. (President, Serendipity: Russian Consulting & Development, Ltd.)

• 1976-2009: Assistant/Associate Professor, Russian Politics, Department of Politics and Government, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois.

• Spring 1976: Visiting Assistant Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

• 1975-1976: Lecturer, Beaver College; Community College of Philadelphia; Montgomery County Community College, Pennsylvania.

• 1971-1972: Research Analyst, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

• 1968-1970: Special Lecturer, Boise State College, Idaho.

• 1967-1971: Photo Intelligence Officer, United States Air Force; served to the rank of Captain.


Founder and President (1991), Serendipity: Russian Consulting & Development, Ltd. (now called Serendipity-Russia.) Organized and financed the building of a model American home in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois' Russian Sister City of Vladimir; dedicated July 4, 1992. The American Home is Serendipity's headquarters for a variety of not-for-profit and for-profit activities. These include an American English & Culture School, with more than 400 Russian students per term and eight American teachers; an intensive Russian language program; a tourism development program; and assistance with a variety of activities, including educational and cultural exchanges, business and police training, and other not-for-profit projects. This is a major undertaking which has received significant recognition. (See, for example, The Post-Soviet Handbook, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1996, pp. 11-12; Pennsylvania Gazette (University of Pennsylvania alumni magazine), March/April 2001; available on the web at: http://www.upenn.edu/gazette/0301/0301pro4.html )


Tourism Development Project funding, 2004 to the present. Initiated the project and played a major role in getting a $5,000 "seed grant" from Sister Cities International.. Obtained an additional $26,000 in private funding. The goal of this project is to help the City of Vladimir and the surrounding communities fully develop their tourist potential. The project team includes Dr. Bruce Wicks, a University of Illinois tourism development specialist; Karen Hasara, former mayor of Springfield, Illinois; and Katya Lakshtanova, a University of Illinois tourism management Masters degree recipient who is formerly from Moscow. For more information on this major project see www.serendipity-russia.com/tourdev.html.

Three Fulbright-Hays Group Programs Abroad. Grants totaling $235,000. The first two grants were obtained through the University of Illinois Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center in 2004 and 2007. The third grant for summer 2008 was received by the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at the University of Chicago. All the in-country arrangements for these grants were made through the American Home in Vladimir. Dr. Pope was the initiator of this program, and a major contributor to and the trip Director for all three grants. (For more information on these very successful projects, see the Serendipity website: special projects -- educational exchange.)

Soviet Views on the Cuban Missile Crisis: Myth and Reality in Foreign Policy Analysis. Edited with commentary and annotations. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1982. (Regularly cited in subsequent publications on the missile crisis.)


The Soviet System: Some Personal Observations. Collection of 26 brief essays. Normal, IL: Normal Press, 1985.

(See the articles section of the Serendipity-Russia website)

• "The Rule of Law in Russia-Necessary but Impossible?", not published.

• "Russian-American Law Enforcement Exchanges: What One Program Has Accomplished" (2004), Law Enforcement Executive Forum (Vol. 4, NO. 4).

• "To Know or Not to Know English," (2000), Johnson's Russia List (#4573, 11 October).

• "Do Americans Need to Know Russian?" (2000), Johnson's Russia List (#4566, 7 October).

• "Business Success in the NIS: The Essential Roll of Public Relations," (2000) BISNIS Bulletin, (June), p. 3. (Substantially revised from an earlier Johnson's Russia List essay.)

• "An Illinois Yankee in Tsar Yeltsin's Court: Justice in Russia," (1999) Demokratizatsiya, Vol. 7, No. 4. (Fall), pp. 587-600. (This article has been characterized as "the single best account at the micro level of the concrete obstacles to reform in Russia"--Nils Wessell, Chair, Dept. of Humanities, U.S. Coast Guard Academy.)

• "The Rule of Law and Russian Culture--Are They Compatible?" (1999) Demokratizatsiya, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Spring), pp. 204-13. Russian translation reprinted in Posev, November 1999, pp. 20-23. (Nikolai Zlobin, an Executive Editor for Demokratizatsiya, wrote: "Your approach--to go beyond the problem and understand the roots of it, and how it fits the entire picture of Russian culture, history and mentality--[is] highly effective.")

• "Is Justice Possible in Russia?" (1999) Kontinent (#98, Winter), pp. 77-82. (Russian translation of a conference paper.)
"What Is to Be Done?" (1998) Johnson's Russia List (#2295, 3 August). Also posted on the Center for Civil Society International website: www.friends-partners.org/~ccsi. (This essay on policy toward Russia has generated significant comment.)

• "The View from Vladimir," (1998) Johnson's Russia List (# 2274, 21 July).

• "Business Success in the Former Soviet Union: The Role of Public Relations," (1998) Johnson's Russia List (# 2118, 25 March).

• "Miscalculation in Soviet Foreign Policy: An Update," (1991). Crossroads. (November), pp. 30-39. (Some of the research for this article was supported by a grant from the Earhart Foundation.)

• "Helping the Soviet Union Make the Transition," (1991). Statement submitted by request to Lee Hamilton, Chairman, Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Congress.

• "Public Opinion research in the Soviet Union: A Firsthand Account," (1990). Report on the USSR. (October 26), pp. 8-12.

• "The Soviet Public and Moscow's Foreign Policy," (1983). Asia Pacific Community. (Fall), pp. 96-103.

• "Miscalculation in Soviet Foreign Policy (With Special Reference to Afghanistan)," (1982). Crossroads. (Winter-Spring) pp. 117-24. (This article provided the basis for a Radio Liberty discussion broadcast to the Soviet Union.)
"Moscow's Potential for Miscalculation in Asia," (1981). Asia Pacific Community. (Fall), pp. 93-102.

• "Afghanistan and the Influence of Public Opinion on Soviet Foreign Policy," (1981). Asian Affairs, An American Review. (July-August), pp. 346-52.

International Journal of Politics (1976-77). Editor, "Soviet Views on Black Africa" issue. (Winter).

• "Introduction: Soviet Views on World Affairs: The International System and Emerging Multipolarity," (1973-74). Co-authored with Nils H. Wessell. International Journal of Politics. (Winter), pp. 3-12.

• "Soviet Foreign Policy toward Latin America," (1972). World Affairs. (Fall), pp. 139-70.

• Annotations to Anatolii Gromyko, "The Caribbean Crisis," (1972); translated in Soviet Law and Government. (Summer), pp. 2-53.


• Letter to the Editor, "Results, Not Numbers" [U.S. Aid to Russia] (1999). The Moscow Times, (August 21), p. 9.

• "Inching Toward Justice in Russia," (1998). The Christian Science Monitor. (July 14) p. 11. (Reprinted in Johnson's Russia List #2264 ,14 July; discussed in a Voice of America broadcast to Russia.)

• "Helping the Russians to Help Themselves," (1991). Mestnoe vreme (Vladimir, Russia). (September), p. 3.

• "American Seeds Will Grow in Russian Soil," (1991). Vladimerskie vedomosti (Vladimir, Russia). No. 35, p. 11.

• "Austerity: Will the Soviet Public Rebel?" (1990). The Christian Science Monitor. (September 27), p. 19. (Translated in Za rubezhom, Moscow. This was a weekly national Soviet publication with a circulation of over 700,000.)

• "Change in the Heart of Russia," (1990). Extended excerpts translated in Kalaidescope (popular weekly newspaper published in Vladimir, Russia), Nos. 21-26.

• "A Proper Response to Gorbachev," (1990). Co-authored with O.A.M. Ajayi, The Christian Science Monitor. (January 19).

• "Can the Soviet Union Survive in the Computer Age?" (1985). The Tampa Times-Tribune (and three other major newspapers). (March 24). (This article was reprinted by the U.S. Information Agency for distribution abroad.)

• "Does Public Opinion Affect Foreign Policy in the USSR?" (1984). GFWC Clubwoman. (February/March), pp. 36-37.

• "Talking With the Soviets" (1983). Citizen Exchange Council Communique. (April), p.1.

• "With the Soviet Man on the Street" (1980). Worldview. (August), pp. 9-10.


• White, Stephen, Zvi Gitelman, and Richard Sakwa, eds., Developments in Russian Politics, published in Perspectives on Political Science (September 2005).

• McFaul, Michael, Nikiolai Petrov, and Andrei Ryabov, Between Dictatorship and Democracy: Russian Post-Communist Political Reform, published in Perspectives on Political Science (Spring 2005).

• Satter, David, Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State, published in Perspectives on Political Science. (Winter 2004). This is a review essay.

• Simai, Mihaly, ed., The Democratic Process and the Market: Challenges of the Transition, published in Journal of the Community Development Society (July 2004).

• Taubman, William, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, published in Perspectives on Political Science (Summer 2003). This book won a Pulitzer Prize.

• Hahn, Jeffrey W., ed., Regional Russia in Transition: Studies from Yaroslavl, published in Perspectives on Political Science, (Spring 2003).

• McFaul, Michael, Russia's Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin, published in Perspectives on Political Science (Fall, 2002). [A longer version of this last review appeared (with permission) in Johnson's Russia List, #6448, 10 October 2002.]

• Remington, Thomas F., The Russian Parliament: Institutional Evolution in a Transitional Regime, 1989-1999, published in Perspectives on Political Science (Summer, 2002)

• Reddaway, Peter and Dmitri Glinski, The Tragedy of Russia's Reforms: Market Bolshevism Against Democracy, published in Perspectives on Political Science. (Fall, 2001)

• Additional reviews published in The Annals, July 1971, May 1980, September 1986, November 1987; ORBIS, Summer 1971; Perspective, January/February 1980, September 1980, September 1981, November/ December 1983, November/December 1984, March/April 1986, September/December 1987, Winter, Summer 1989, Summer 1991; The Russian Review, July 1970, October 1977, October 1978, April 1979, January 1980, October 1982; Slavic Review, Fall 1982, Summer 1985; Soviet Studies, October 1977.


• Critique of Making Russian Democracy Work by Christopher Marsh; book manuscript being considered by Texas A & M University Press (1999).


• New York, May 4-5, 2001, "World Russian Forum." Member, roundtable discussion on U.S.-Russian cooperation.

• Washington, D.C., June 8-9, 1998. "Is Justice Possible in Russia?" Paper presented at the Third International Conference: Past, Present & Future of Russia. (Presentation resulted in an interview-in Russian-for a Voice of America program and a request to write an article for Demokratizatsiya.)

• Geneva, Switzerland, August 1985. Invited panel discussant at an international conference on The Fall of the Soviet Empire.


• Organizer and presenter, panel on "The Prospects for Democracy in Russia," Midwest Slavic Conference, Urbana, Illinois, April 1, 2000.

• Discussant, panel on "Theory, International Institutions, and Change," Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, Illinois, April 15-17, 1999.


• "Russia Today," St. Gregory the Great High School, Chicago, Illinois, February 20, 2010-for group going to Russia.

• "Has Russia Fundamentally Changed?" Counter Intelligence unit, FBI Springfield, Illinois Division Office, September 8, 2009.

• "Russia: Cultural Hurdles for Businessmen and Other Travelers," Peoria Area World Affairs Council, November 15, 2000.

• "Russian Culture: Problems We Need to Be Aware of," Southern Illinois University--Carbondale, November 8, 2000.

• "Understanding the Challenges of Russian Culture: Recognizing Problems and Responding Effectively," The Kennan Institute (at The Woodrow Wilson Center), Washington, DC, June 5, 2000.

• "Russian Culture," Western Illinois University, April 25, 2000.

• "Doing Business With Russians--Some Cultural Considerations," University of Illinois Russian and East European Center Workshop on Doing Business in Russia, April 13, 2000.

• "Russian Culture: Some Implications," University of South Carolina, March 3, 2000.

• Information and recommendations presented to the Democratic Budget Study Group, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., October 23, 1991. (Presentation was by invitation and was made in conjunction with Congressmen Jim Leach and Steven Solarz to approximately 50 Congressmen and staff.)

• Written proposal on agricultural aid to the Soviet Union submitted to the U.S. Congress and Executive branch, 1991.


• Illinois State University: Summer Research Grants, Instructional Development Grants, Nominated for Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award, departmental Exceptional Merit.

• Earhart Foundation Research Grant, Summer 1989.

• University of Pennsylvania: H. B. Earhart Fellowships, Henry Salvatory Fellowship, Teaching Fellowship (declined).

• University of South Carolina: NDEA Fellowship (declined).

• Southern California School of Theology: Entrance Scholarship.

• Armed Forces Air Intelligence School: Distinguished Graduate.


Russian: Reasonably fluent. Interpreter for visiting Russians. Regularly give extensive lectures and interviews in Vladimir, Russia. Have taught beginning Russian. Lived in a small Russian émigré community in Glendora, California while attending the School of Theology, 1964-65.


The Soviet Union/Russia: March 1974; May-June 1979; May 1980; May 1982; May-June 1983; July-August 1984; May 1985; May 1988, March and May 1990; May-June and September 1991; December-January 1991-92; March, May-July, and October 1992, June-July, August 1993; January and May 1994; January, March, June, November 1995, December 1995-January 1996, February, May, August, December 1996; January, March, July, August 1997, December 1997-January 1998; August 1998; July, August 1999; May, August 2000; May-July, August 2001; June-July 2002; May-June 2003; June-August 2004; May-June 2005; May-June 2006, June-July 2007, June-July 2008, September 2009.

Austria: December 1997 (consulting for Motorola)
Poland: June 1980, May 1988.
Hungary: June 1988.
Germany and Switzerland: August 1985 (international conference).


• Regular assistance to faculty and others nation-wide who are working on projects in the Vladimir, Russia area.

• Panel Member, "Career Opportunities in International Studies," meeting on "Youth Diplomacy," sponsored by the Peoria Area World Affairs Council, November 18, 2001. (Interview by Ch. 25, WEEK TV.)

• Numerous interviews and articles on the Soviet Union/Russia published in area and national media; interviews, articles, and excerpts from articles published in Vladimir, Russia, and in other Russian publications.

• Television and radio interviews both in the U.S. and Russia, including an interview on NPR's All Things Considered, and interviews on Voice of America.

• Presentations on Soviet/Russian society, business, and politics for numerous local groups and for groups in Vladimir, Russia.

• Member, Vladimir/Canterbury Sister Cities Association of Bloomington-Normal (1993-96).

• Member and Co-chair, Board of Directors, Wesleyan Civic Orchestra, Bloomington, Illinois (1988-94).

• Member, Bloomington/Normal-Asahikawa, Japan Sister Cities Committee, Bloomington/Normal, Illinois (1987-90).

• President, Board of Directors, Twin Cities Ballet Company, Normal, Illinois (1982-87).

• Member, Field Institute, Citizen Exchange Council, New York, N.Y. (1980-87).

• Member, Advisory Committee, Soviet Law and Government; a journal of translations of Russian articles (1972-87).

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