Chief Technology Officer, CISCO
"THE PURPOSE OF the delegation was to explore and begin a dialogue with Russia. I had been there a couple of times on business, but this was a very different kind of group conversation. We met with government officials, startups, entrepreneurs, universities, business leaders, and students -- people who were involved in driving innovation in technology. I was surprised at the emphasis everyone placed on leveraging technology to drive economic progress. When President Medvedev visited Cisco later, we announced an I-Prize of about $175,000 to stimulate Russian entrepreneurship. We perceive Russia to be very strategic for the company. Where the State Department's focus areas align with our business priorities, it makes a lot of sense to participate."