Roald Sagdeev is a Senior Director of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, where he assists clients with issues involving Russia and countries in the former Soviet Union.
Dr. Sagdeev is currently Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Eisenhower Institute, a Washington-based foreign policy think-tank focused primarily on Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia. He is also Director Emeritus of the Space Research Institute, the Moscow-based center of the Russian space exploration program.
One of the youngest scientists ever elected a full academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Dr. Sagdeev served as Director of the Space Research Institute, the Moscow-based center of the Soviet space exploration program, for 15 years. He led this institution to participate in the joint U.S.-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz program.
Among the many important projects realized under his direction were the Venera series to Venus, as well as the international robotic mission to Halley’s Comet and later to Phobos, a moon of Mars. Before his appointment to the Space Research Institute in 1973, Dr. Sagdeev had a distinguished career in nuclear science as a plasma physicist.
His work on the behavior of hot plasma and controlled thermo-nuclear fusion at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy and later at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Akademgorodok, Siberia, has received many prestigious prizes, including the highest of Soviet awards, the Lenin Prize in 1984, as well as international recognition.
In addition to his scientific career and his work to promote international cooperation in science, Roald Sagdeev played an outspoken political role during the years of perestroika. Elected to the Supreme Soviet in 1987, he served as a summit advisor to Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Eduard Shevardnadze at three summits – Geneva (1985), Washington (1987) and Moscow (1988).
He also served as an advisor to Mikhail S. Gorbachev on issues related to civilian space and space-based weapons systems. From 1989-1991, he served as a deputy in the USSR’s Congress of People’s Deputies, pushing a reform agenda.
Dr. Sagdeev has been elected a member of a number of national and international scientific academies and societies around the world, including the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.), The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (U.S.), the Royal Swedish Academy, the Royal Astronomical Society (UK), The Max Plank Society (Germany), the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Czech Academy of Sciences, the International Academy of Aeronautics and the Third World Academy.
He was the first Soviet scientist ever elected to the Pontifical (Vatican) Academy of Sciences and has received numerous honorary degrees. Dr. Sagdeev graduated from Moscow State University and is fluent in Russian and English.