The Blavatnik Internship Program at CFR was established through a generous gift from the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The program provides paid internships to more than one hundred interns each year. Blavatnik interns gain new insights into critical foreign policy issues and interact directly with leading experts and practitioners. They are offered professional development training to complement their substantive work with a series of skill-based workshops, trainings, and career advice sessions as a foundation for future work in the field of foreign policy and international affairs, and beyond. By providing a competitive hourly wage to all interns, the goal of the program is to make the Council’s highly competitive internships accessible to a broader range of qualified students from all backgrounds, making way for new talent and increasingly diverse perspectives in the field of international relations.
CFR member Len Blavatnik, founder and chairman of Access Industries and the Blavatnik Family Foundation, is a global industrialist and philanthropist committed to advancing science, higher education, good governance, and the arts through meaningful involvement and charitable giving. Access, a privately held industrial group based in the United States, owns strategic and diversified investments around the world in media and telecommunications, natural resources and chemicals, venture capital, real estate, and biotechnology.
The foundation, which has contributed more than $700 million to charitable institutions over the years, prioritizes higher education as well as scientific and medical research and innovation. Its activities are highly concentrated to drive meaningful impact and to promote discoveries at major research institutions that will benefit the whole of society. To that end, the foundation has made transformational gifts to Harvard, Yale, and Tel Aviv Universities, and established the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University.
Born in the former Soviet Union, Blavatnik became a U.S. citizen in 1984 and earned his MS in computer science from Columbia University in 1981 and his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1989. He became a dual citizen of the UK in 2010 and was knighted in 2017 for services to philanthropy. In 2013, Blavatnik was appointed a chevalier of the French Légion d'Honneur for his support of education.