The US Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF) is the legacy foundation of The US Russia Investment Fund (TUSRIF), funded by the U.S. Government in 1995 to promote the development of the private sector in Russia through direct investment and technical assistance to private Russian enterprises. Through highly effective management, TUSRIF made a major contribution to a growing Russian economy and earned sufficient capital to create an endowment.
In 2008, USRF was registered as a not-for-profit corporation in the United States. In early 2009, USRF was registered in Russia as an affiliate of the US organization.
The mission of USRF is to support the long-term economic development of Russia's market economy, working in close partnership with the Russian government and leading Russian institutions. In this way, USRF seeks to build strong ties between the United States and Russia.
In its grant-making philosophy, USRF is guided by three overarching concepts: enterprise, accountability, and partnership.
- Enterprise encompasses entrepreneurship, private property, individual initiative, and related values that encourage commercial achievement;
- Accountability covers not only the responsibility of government to its citizens, but also proper corporate governance, and the duties of business to its employees, customers, and shareholders;
- Partnership implies a co-equal relationship and focuses on common bonds and interests between the United States and Russia.
USRF is developing a two-track approach to grant-making: (1) several large, multi-year projects and (2) small, strategic grants for Russian, American and international non-profit organizations and Russian governmental institutions.
USRF implements several major programs with the budget over $100,000. The participants of these programs are selected through special competitions:
- The Enhancing University Research and Entrepreneurial Capacity (EURECA) Program.
The Program focuses on developing joint projects between U.S. and Russian universities in the field of IP innovation and commercialization.
- The Yegor Gaidar Summer Leadership Program YGSLP (a joint project with the Yegor Gaidar Foundation).
A four-week internship programs for Russian universities students at U.S. entrepreneurial universities.
- The Yegor Gaidar Annual Fellowship Program YGAFP (IREX as operator).
A three to six months fellowship program for Russian economists at U.S. think tanks and research institutions.
- Improving Economics Instruction (IEI) Program (a joint project with the Yegor Gaidar Foundation).
A two-week study program for university-level instructors of economics from Russian universities at one of the leading U.S. universities.
- Legal Education Exchange (LEX) Program.
The program aims to strengthen legal education in Russian and U.S. universities by the exchange of experience and best practices in modern teaching methodologies, including practice-based and interactive teaching techniques and those based on modern IT technologies.