Lester Salamon, distinguished researcher and leading research fellow of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Nonprofit Sector, died on August 20, 2021.
Professor Salamon was the founder and long-time director of the Center for Civil Society Studies at the Johns Hopkins University (USA). For twenty years, he headed the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project, a research endeavour of unrivalled scope and duration that examined nonprofits in more than 45 countries. Russia was represented in the project by HSE University’s Centre for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector. It is impossible to overstate the significance of Lester Salamon’s contributions to the study of the voluntary sector. Before the release of his now-classic works on the contribution of the nonprofit sector to welfare in various countries, the voluntary sector had long been overlooked in the social map of the world.
The formation of a modern community of nonprofit researchers around Professor Salamon as a result of the project was an immense personal achievement and a testament to his engaging personality.
In 2014, he was appointed academic supervisor at our centre’s Laboratory for Nonprofit Sector Studies, where he made major contributions to the field of government–nonprofit relations in Russia. He became a leading research fellow of the Centre in 2017, and continued to consult our colleagues and conduct research into the Centre’s main areas of interest.
Other notable achievements by Professor Salemon in recent years include the publication of joint articles with the Centre’s staff on relations between the Russian government and civil society. The articles take an objective approach and are the first empirically based counterpoint to the negative views of such relations in western discourse.
Everyone at the Centre mourns the loss of Lester Salamon. His death is a devastating loss to the global community of nonprofit sector researchers.
In loving memory of our friend and colleague, Lester Salamon.