Founder Carol Hiltner has a 20-year background in citizen diplomacy, working first with Rama Vernon at the Center for Soviet/American Citizen Diplomacy in the ’80s; as a co-founder with Dr. Juliette Engel of MiraMed Institute in the early ’90s (which now works in Russia and internationally on issues of maternal/child health, orphans, and trafficking of women); and as collaborator with Linda Hawkin Israel on the MAMAS program for building critical infrastructure in regions that have been affected by war or natural disaster, focusing in Sierra Leone.

Carol has been in Altai nearly every summer since 1999, seeking sustainable ways to access, support, and share internationally the rich cultural/spiritual heritage in Altai and in Russia as a whole.

Each year, she makes a 6o+ mile trek to the sacred Mt. Belukha to attune herself with the sacred energy of Altai. She has been studying Russian for a number of years, and her fluency keeps improving. Carol has authored numerous articles, published books about Altai/Russian culture/spirituality, and led expeditions to directly experience Altai.

In 2005-6, she initiated an environmental clean-up at sacred Mt. Belukha in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund - Russia, Altai Republic Mountain Rescue Service, Belukha National Park Service, LenAlps (Vuisotnik Tourist Base), and Russian NGO “Light Center.”

In 2006, Carol initiated Altai Mir University with a “Peace-Mapping Summit” in July, and a fact-finding mission, consisting of several regional stake-holder meetings in collaboration with Global University System, Siberian Academy of Public Administration, and the NCP Siberian Educational-Consulting Center “Connect” in September, with support from Eurasia Foundation and National Peace Foundation.

In 2007, Carol collaborated with Nina Goncharova and Svetlana Katynova on an international youth leadership camp in Altai, including Palestinian and Jewish youths from Israel, and Native American youths. She also collaborated with Cherokee Dr. Jonathan Hook and the National Peace Foundation to bring four young Altai leaders to "Indian Country" (the American Southwest) as part of the Library of Congress Open World program.

In 2008, Carol made a series of 52 visionary paintings of "Heart Opening: Re-Emergence of the Sacred Feminine," as well as working with Svetlana Katynova and others on preserving the at-risk rights of the Altai people to their traditional lands.

In early 2009, she was the first recipient of the "International "Peace Quilt" Award for On-Going Citizen Diplomacy" by the National Peace Foundation. The award was inspired by Carol's peace quilt work in th 1980s and 1990s.

See Carol Hiltner’s CV