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Who We Are


The American Siberian Education Foundation (ASEF) is the only non-profit organization directly connecting Siberia and the United States through business and cultural workshops, academic exchange programs, symposia and exhibitions.

ASEF was established in 1995 to perform as an educational liaison between two great communities with a great deal in common. A gateway to the United States’ academic, business and cultural community for constituents from Siberia, as well as surrounding regions in Asia and Russia, ASEF facilitates learning, bilateral collaboration and impactful relationships to open doors and build stronger cross-cultural communities.

In the past, ASEF has facilitated joint educational projects in Siberia funded by the Eurasia Foundation and USAID, research collaboration between U.S. and Siberian universities in the fields of small business and entrepreneurship studies, and expanded cultural appreciation programs and initiatives. Building on past successes, ASEF is reinvigorating academic, cultural and trade-related partnerships between Minnesota and Siberia, with extension into greater Russia.

board of directors

Arkady Shemyakin, Ph.D.

Chair of the Board and President (2021)

University of St. Thomas

Nataliya Kravchenko, Ph.D.

Director (2021)

Institute of Economics & Industrial Engineering

Felix Byk, Ph. D.

Director (2023)

Novosibirsk State Technical University

Maria Zavialova, Ph.D.

Treasurer and Secretary (2022)

The Museum of Russian Art

Ekaterina (Kate) Kouprianova, Ph.D.

Director (2022)

Geoff Evans

Director (2023)


Thadavillil Jithendranathan, Ph.D.

Director (2021)

University of St. Thomas

George Lesnov

Director (2022)



The specific purposes of this corporation are to promote friendship between the people of the United States and the people of the Siberian region.


ASEF is glad to partner with organizations who share the goal of building bridges between our peoples.

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