I haven’t had the opportunity to meet this man personally, but he signed my offer letter and actually found my husband a possible teaching job at a Moscow IB school after I was hired. My colleagues speak enormously highly of him, and this news is a sobering reminder that academic freedom is something not to be taken for granted.
From the New York Times blog:
MOSCOW — A prominent, liberal-minded economist has fled Russia under pressure from government investigators, as the Kremlin’s yearlong crackdown moves beyond protesters and their leaders to elite power brokers who are suspected of supporting them.
The economist, Sergei Guriev, who wielded significant influence under the presidency of Dmitri A. Medvedev, has been questioned repeatedly in a case that stems from a report of which he was a co-author that criticized the treatment of Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the imprisoned oil tycoon.
Mr. Guriev’s flight comes amid investigations that focus on Moscow insiders who, investigators believe, have offered support to the opposition movement.
Along with other faculty, I received an email this afternoon with assurances that this will not disrupt the NES’s operations and–at considerable cost considering that Guriev was a kind of visionary for the school–has bolstered the school’s international reputation and opened up new lines of funding.