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Greek American, March 23, 1996

Hellenic Resources Institute Comes of Age

Cambridge: The Hellenic Resources Institute (HRI) recently held its first New York press conference, introducing HRI to the Greek American community in New York and outlining its upcoming schedule of events and project goals.

HRI was founded by a group of young Greek academics and professionals in May, 1993. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Athens, Greece, HRI is an independent, non-profit organization whose goal is to create a link between Greek public policy makers and academicians, professionals, entrepreneurs and scientists of the Greek diaspora and the international community. In the words of Board member, Monteagle Stearns, former United States Ambassador to Greece, "Hellenic Resources mobilizes the brainpower and energies of an exceptionally talented group of young Greeks abroad to influence public policy constructively."

From an organizational perspective, HRI has made huge strides since its inception and now consists of 40-50 active supporters who are working on various projects and subcommittees. As a result of their continued expansion, HRI has successfully staffed almost all of their active and pending projects, and has received proposals for new and exciting work as well.

The mission of the Institute is to open the lines of communication between the Greek diaspora and Greek public policy makers, in order to mobilize and utilize the expertise and resources available to fortify the public policy and decisionmaking process in Greece. More importantly, the underlying premise of HRI is to focus on issues such as the economy, education, health and foreign policy in the context of a multipartisan perspective that will influence the long-term development of Greece.

HRI has organized a series of successful projects that reflect the mission and goals of the organization. One such project is a bi-annual visit of a multipartisan group of parliamentarians from Greece who tour Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. The purpose of these visits is twofold: first, to introduce Greek policy makers to the approaches, policy tools and experts in the field of conflict management and international relations; and second, to identify opportunities for effective action and possible roles that Greece could play in enhancing stability and prosperity in relation to Europe and the Balkan countries.

Another endeavor is the HR-Net project which was established to facilitate information exchanges between the United States and the Hellenic Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education. In the words of its inventors, "HR-Net will aim to maximize the utilization of electronic information which concerns Greece and facilitates communication between agencies acting in support of Greek interests."

Among HRI's other long-term goals and projects are the publication of a quarterly journal entitled "Emphasis: A Journal of Hellenic Issues", which will serve as a forum where Greek, American and other experts can express opinions and participate in a dialogue on issues that relate to Greece; the HRI Resume Book, a publication that would contain the resumes of thousands of Greek students who are studying abroad, and which would be made available to businesses, research organizations and other interested parties; an the Foreign Press Article Taxonomy, an index of articles concerning Greece published in the foreign press since January 1989.

At the moment, the Hellenic Resources Institute is the only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to mobilizing a broad base of knowledge and expertise for the benefit of public policy making in Greece. HRI Board member and former Governor of Massachusetts Michael S. Dukakis says of HRI "I am excited by the potential contributions of this non-partisan organization to the peaceful political and economic development of Greece. It deserves our strong encouragement and support." If you are interested in finding out more about the Institute and its projects, contact Demetra E. Anagnostopoulos at (617) 354.2000.

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