Dr. Dan E. Davidson
President Emeritus, American Councils for International Education, Director, American Research Center
Dr. Dan E. Davidson has focused much of his professional life on the development, oversight, and support of international initiatives in educational development, training, and research, primarily through the work of American Councils and its partner organizations in the U.S., Eurasia, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Dr. Davidson’s portfolio includes the Enhancing University Research and Entrepreneurial Capacity (EURECA) program, a multi-year U.S.-Russia initiative devoted to supporting bilateral university research and entrepreneurial activities, strengthening science commercialization, and increasing startup collaborations.
Dr. Davidson received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University and has devoted the past thirty-five years to research, teaching, and the institutionalization of support for the fields of Russian and second language acquisition, international education, and innovation-based economic development. He is professor of Russian and Second Language Acquisition, Myra T. Cooley Lectureship, Bryn Mawr College and has written or edited 44 books or collections as well as over 60 scholarly articles in the fields of language, culture and international education.
Dr. Maria D. Lekic
Dr. Lekic is an associate professor at the University of Maryland-College Park and a widely-recognized expert in curriculum and assessment design. She is author of several major textbooks of Russian for Americans. Dr. Lekic has worked with the Russian Overseas Flagship Program as senior advisor and co-director since its inception. She has co-authored and edited the seven-volume Flagship textbook series. She is also a member of the American Council of Teachers of Russian Board and editor of "Russian Language Journal." Dr. Lekic's research and teaching are focused on the development of Russian language fluency at the upper levels.
Gennady Babankov, J.D.
Assistant Program Manager
Gennady Babankov joined American Councils in 2009 as a Senior Program Officer for the Overseas Flagship Programs. Mr. Babankov is a native Russian speaker who has studied and worked in the United States since 1994. Mr. Babankov holds graduate and professional degrees from George Mason University Law School and The Johns Hopkins University, where he tutored undergraduate students in Russian. Prior to his work at American Councils, Mr. Babankov worked for almost nine years on the administration of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program which provides overseas training opportunities to American and foreign school instructors.
Sydney is a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, where she received a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature. As a Boren Scholar, Sydney participated in the Russian Overseas Flagship Program 2017-18 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Prior to joining American Councils, she worked as a Student Program Coordinator at the Bryn Mawr Summer Russian Language Institute.