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History & Mission

In October 1969, Stanford University designated the “Committee for Russian, East European and Communist Studies” as the Center for Russian and East European Studies, recognizing the institutional structures in the field that had emerged at Stanford over the preceding decades. For the past 50 years, the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies has served as Stanford University's hub for the interdisciplinary study of a vast region stretching from the Berlin Wall to the Bering Strait.

CREEES objectives include:

  • training an annual cohort of MA students in Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies
  • supporting undergraduate and graduate students throughout campus, including funding for research and language study
  • hosting renowned area specialists for guest teaching, lectures, and conferences
  • developing endowed lecture series, conferences, and public events
  • promoting language study
  • expanding the area studies curriculum
  • supporting community outreach activities

CREEES is funded by endowments from institutional grants and individual donors and annual operational support from the university.

CREEES A History

Center for Russian and East European Studies: A History

A retrospective look at Russian and East European Studies at Stanford University published in 2001 under the directorship of Professor Nancy S. Kollmann. 

This history chronicles the story of the faculty, students and leaders who built the Center on a foundation of research and teaching of the highest quality. It highlights the major initiatives from the preceding thirty years and recognizes the supporters who made it possible. 

Read Center for Russian and East European Studies: A History here.

CREEES Newsletters & Chronicles

Visit the complete archive of CREEES newsletters and chronicles here.


1919               Hoover Institution founded with one of the world's richest archives relating to Russia and East Europe

1940s-50s    The library and archival holdings attract renowned Sovietologists to Stanford

1963               The East European Faculty Seminar is created

1969               The Center for Russian and East European Studies is founded

1973               CREES begins offering MA degrees

1977               The first Stanford-Berkeley Conference is held

1984               CREES becomes a National Resource Center and begins offering FLAS Fellowships

1993               Stanford-in-Moscow opens its doors to undergraduate students

2003               CREES adds Eurasia and becomes CREEES

2012               CREEES launches The Post-Soviet Post, an online media project

Past Directors

2019 - Present                         Amir Weiner, History

2013 - 2019                               Pavle Levi, Art & Art History

2010 - 2013                               Robert Crews, History

2007 - 2010                               Gabriella Safran, Slavic Languages and Literatures

Autumn 2008                           John Dunlop, Hoover Fellow 

1999 - 2007                               Nancy S. Kollmann, History

Autumn 1997, 1998-99       Richard Schupbach, Slavic Languages and Literatures

1995 -1998                               Nancy S. Kollmann, History

1994 - 1995                               Norman Naimark, History

1992- 1994                                Alexander Dallin, History

1989 - 1992                               Norman Naimark, History

1985 - 1989                               Alexander Dallin, History

1972 - 1985                               Wayne S. Vucinich, History

1969 - 1972                               Ivo J. Lederer, History