A foundation dedicated to building democracy in Ukraine

U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Wash, D.C., Tue, Sep 7, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The People First Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine, has been approved for membership in the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), the USUBC executive committee announced today on behalf of the entire USUBC membership of over 130 companies and organizations who have business operations, investments or other development programs in Ukraine.

The People First Foundation is an organization dedicated to building democracy in Ukraine through dialogue and active communication with all the people of Ukraine and the monitoring of the development of democracy in the interests of the people.

The Foundation's vision is to promote and build support for institutions in Ukraine, including the private business sector, who are based on the universal democratic principles of equality, freedom and justice. 

The People First Foundation seeks to empower Ukrainians through a greater understanding of the principles of democracy and greater participation in the practices of democracy so that the Ukrainian people can build a just society based on transparency, the rule of law and equal opportunity, promoting a better private sector business environment, a caring society that protects the weak and needy, a forward looking society that educates future generations to the highest standards and builds on scientific, technological and industrial achievement and a society that plays an equal and active role in the international community.

People First are currently carrying out extensive research across Ukraine to determine what it is that the people of Ukraine want from their democracy and what they are prepared to do to make it happen. The results of this research will be turned into a series of 'referenda of public opinion' that are designed to enable the people of Ukraine to select the shape of their democracy. 

Once the referenda are completed the results will be drawn together into a 'Ukrainian People's Charter' of the same standing as the 'US Bill of Rights' which will be presented to the President, Government and Parliament as a demand for change.

Each week People First will publish their 'Democray Watch' newsletter that is designed to comment from a neutral and constructive perspective on the activity of the three branches of power and the opposition as they relate to democracy, accountability and transparency (  Further more each month they will produce a 'DW Special Report' on an aspect of policy that will have a direct bearing on the business and social systems of Ukraine.

Victor Tkachuk is one of Ukraine’s most senior civil servants and was until he joined the People First Foundation the Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine.  He has served as an advisor to all three previous Presidents of Ukraine and in Verkhovna Rada as a member of the ‘Green’ party.  He has seen first hand the strengths and weaknesses of the Ukrainian democratic system. Victor will represent the Foundation on the USUBC board of directors. 

Martin Nunn is British by birth but has adopted Ukraine as his home land.  Martin is a strong advocate of democracy, transparency and the rule of law and applies these principles in his business. After a successful career in the London marketing industry Martin was, in the late 1980’s, invited to assist the Government of the USSR in the commercialisation of aspects of Soviet industry including the highly successful floating eye hospital of Professor Syatislav Feyodorov. 

In the early 1990’s he took an active role in the public education aspects of the Russian Privatisation programme and in 1993 he moved to Kyiv to set up and run a public education programme in market reform.  He established his company ‘Whites Communication’ in 1994 and is today one of the leading public relations and communications experts in Ukraine. 


        1.  People First is a Ukrainian Foundation dedicated to advancing the cause of democracy in Ukraine. 
        2.  People First is an open Foundation established to improve the lives of all Ukrainians irrespective of the creed, race or persuasion through the internationally accepted principles of democracy.
        3.  People First accepts, endorses and adheres to the United Nations Charter on Human Rights and renounces violence and intimidation in all its  forms.
        4.  People First has no alignment or allegiance to any political party or political doctrine.
        5.  People First is funded from multiple Ukrainian and international sources and no party shall exert undue influence over the Foundation or its work. The Foundation will adhere to international standards of accounting and transparency.
        6.  People First will use all forms of modern communication to help the people of Ukraine understand both the principles and rsponsibilities associated with democratic government, a private enterprise economic system, and to give them voice on issues that influence their lives.
        7.  People First has aligned with international democratic organisations in order to benefit from international experience and ensure that their work meets international standards.
        8.  People First accepts that the future political and social direction of the nation shall be based solely on the will of the people expressed within the internationally accepted principles of democracy.

The People First Foundation was launched in May of this year in London at the annual Ukrainian Investment Summit. "I met in London with Victor Tkachuk, Chief Executive Officer and Martin Nunn, Communications Director," said Morgan Williams, Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office, for the SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Management Group, who serves as President of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council."  I have known and worked with Martin Nunn now for several years in his capacity as head of Whites Communication in Kyiv."

"We discussed the program of the Foundation which includes strong support for the continued development of the private business sector and support for legal, regulatory and administrative reforms which would bring about an improved, better business environment in Ukraine." 

"I met again in July in Kyiv with Victor and Martin about membership in USUBC, and again reviewed the program of the Foundation and its support for a strong private enterprise system in Ukraine and for reforms to make Ukraine an easier and better place to do business, "Williams stated. "USUBC is pleased to have the opportunity to work with the People First Foundation."

For more information about the People First Foundation and to register for their publications go to

USUBC is working closely with these outstanding not-for-profit organizations for the advancement of our common goals related to Ukraine. They are the American Councils for International Education (ACIE), DAAR Charitable Foundation; The Eurasia Foundation, International Tax and Investment Council (ITIC), Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America (KMF), Open World Leadership Center at the U.S. Library of Congress, The Washington Group (TWG), U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF), Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA), Ukrainian-American Environmental Association (UAEA), Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA), U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF), the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council (UACC), the International Division of the Department of Business and Economic Development of the State of Maryland, The Bleyzer Foundation (TBF), the Foundation for International Arts and Education (FIAE) and now the People First Foundation.

One-Hundred Thirty Members, September 2010, Membership in January of 2007 was 22. 
The complete list of USUBC members can be found at:

[1]  Anders Aslund, Senior Fellow
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C.
[2]  Ariel Cohen, Ph.D, Senior Research Fellow
Allison Center for International Studies,
Davis Institute for International Studies,
The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.
[3]  Keith Crane, Senior Economist
Rand Corporation, Washington, D.C.

[4]  James Greene, President
Effective Engagement Strategies, LLC, Washington, D.C.
Former Head, NATO Liaison Office Ukraine

[5]  Anatoliy Kinakh, Head
League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine
Member of Parliament of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine

[6]  David Kramer, Senior Transatlantic Fellow
The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Washington, D.C.
[7]  Leonid Kozachenko, President
Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation (UAC), Kyiv, Ukraine

[8]  William Green Miller, Senior Policy Scholar
Woodrow Wilson Center,  Washington, D.C.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

[9]  Steven Pifer, Senior Fellow
The Brookings Institution
Senior Advisor, Russia & Eurasia Program, CSIS, Washington, D.C.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
[10]  Dr. Edilberto Segura, Partner, Chief Economist
SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Group
Chair of the Advisory Board of The Bleyzer Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine
[11]  Keith Smith, Senior Associate
Europe Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Former U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania, Washington, D.C.  

[12]  William B. Taylor, Jr., Vice President, Peace & Stability Operations
United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

[13]  Damon Wilson, Vice President
Atlantic Council of the United States, Washington, D.C.

[14] James Wilson, Director
EU Ukraine Business Council (EUUBC), Brussels, Belgium

For Year 2010 (

[1]  Margarita Karpenko, Managing Partner
DLA Piper Ukraine LLC, Kyiv, Ukraine

[2]  Michael E. Kirst, Regional Vice President
Central/Eastern Europe and Russia
Westinghouse Electric Company, Brussels, Belgium

[3]  John R. Miller, Director,
International Business Development, Europe, Israel, Sub-Sahara
Raytheon International, Inc., Arlington, VA

[4]  Dr. Irina Paliashvili, President and Senior Counsel
RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group, P.A., Washington, D.C./Kyiv, Ukraine

[5]  Andrew A. Pidgirsky, Chairman, Board of Governors,
Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA), Houston, TX

[6]  Samir B. Sahgal, Director, International Operations
Washington, D.C. Operations, The Boeing Company, Arlington, VA
            Treasurer, USUBC

[7]  Diana Sedney
Manager, International Government Relations
Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron Government Affairs
Chevron, Washington, D.C.

[8]  John F. Steele, Director, International Government Affairs
Eli Lilly and Company, Washington, D.C.

[9]  Vanessa Stiffler-Claus, Director, International Affairs
John Deere Public Affairs Worldwide, John Deere, Washington, D.C.

[10]  Patrick H. Sweet, President
Sweet Analysis Services, Inc. (SASI), Alexandria, VA

[11]  E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office
SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Group, Washington, D.C.
           Chairman, Executive Committee, USUBC, President/CEO, USUBC

[12]  Van A. Yeutter, Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Cargill, Washington, D.C.

[13]  Jack I. Heller, Attorney at Law
Heller & Rosenblatt, Washington, D.C.
           Legal Counsel, USUBC