In the fall of 2001, Dr. Rusty Butler, director of URI, was officially named the Honorary Consul General for the Russian Federation in the State of Utah. This office was established in part due to URI’s activities in Russia and with the local Russian Community. Through this new assignment, Dr. Butler and URI will have an even greater opportunity to extend it’s outreach to the Russian community in Utah.
Dr. Butler is the Associate Vice President of International Affairs at Utah Valley University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1972 and received and honorary doctorate from the Kyrgyz National University in 2003. In 2002 the Russian Foreign Ministry awarded him a metal for fostering closer relations between Russia and Utah.
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was invited to visit UVU for the second time, on April 16-19th, 2015. While here he was able to meet with Lieutenant Governor Cox, LDS Church leadership, and give a lecture to nearly 100 students. Ambassador Kislyak lectured on the state of Russian-American relations, and the events that are currently affecting that relationship. He was joined by, Sergey Petrov, consul general for Russia in San Francisco. Visits like these are crucial to the strengthening of these ties, and for the opportunity to circulate information about these important topics.
Honorary Russian Consul General and UVU Associate Vice President for International Affairs Rusty Butler was inducted into the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences in ceremonies at UVU on April 23, 2008. In the former Soviet Union, being an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences was an honor reserved for the most elite in that society. Academician Dr. Ildar Utiamyshev came from Moscow to bestow the honor on Dr. Butler, commending him for his work on behalf of Russia and Utah. The Academy appointed Butler as chairman of the Academy’s branch in the western United States. Dr. Butler is also the president of the Utah Consular Corps representing all 25 diplomatic missions in the state.
November 1, 2001 issue of the URI Newsletter
The Director of the Utah-Russia Institute, Dr. Ross “Rusty” Butler was recently named the Honorary Consul General for the Russian Federation in the State of Utah and was honored at a reception at Abravanal Hall in Salt Lake City on October 25, 2001.
Consul General Yury Popov flew in from San Francisco to personally honor Dr. Butler at this event. He spoke of the friendship that has been built over the years between Utah and Russia and his hopes that this mutual friendship and cooperation will continue. The Consul General emphasized the strong role that Dr. Butler has played in establishing this friendship to this point and expressed his excitement at Dr. Butler’s continuing efforts.
The role of Honorary Consul General will play a particularly important role next year, as Utah hosts the Winter Olympics. Russia will have the largest contingency here from overseas and Dr. Butler expects to be very busy dealing with some of the issues that may arise as a result of their participation.
However, Dr. Butler’s responsibilities will not end with Closing Ceremonies. He will continue to serve in this capacity-assisting Russian immigrants and tourists when problems arise and promoting business, educational, cultural and humanitarian relations between Utah and Russia.
Dr. Butler has served as the Executive Director of the Utah-Russia Institute since its beginning in 1993. He came to the Utah-Russia Institute from the Boeing Corporation where he was a senior executive in the military airplanes division. In addition, he spent several years working for the U.S. Department of Education as a Chief-of-Staff in the U.S. Senate. Dr. Butler is also very active in the community, participating in such organizations as the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America and America’s Freedom Festival at Provo.