Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

David Budgen

Visiting Professor

David Budgen has been a practicing conference interpreter (and member of AIIC) for some twenty years, principally with international organizations, and was the first Head of NATO Russian Language Service for nearly fifteen years. During this time he travelled widely for the organization and accompanied four Secretaries-General to Russian-speaking countries. For many years he was Co-Chairman of the NATO-Russia Expert Group on Terminology. He has taught and examined in various interpretation schools in Europe.

Before becoming an interpreter, he enjoyed an academic career in Russian studies, as  Research Fellow at St. John's College, Oxford and Lecturer in Russian Literature at the School of Slavonic and East European Languages (SSEES), London University (UK). He has published on eighteenth and nineteenth-century Russian literature, reviewed extensively in the press and translated inter alia Pushkin's prose, plays by Ostrovsky, Russian semiotics and has been heavily involved in bibliography an lexicography. He now returns to freelance interpreting and academic life, and has taught courses at MIIS since 2011.

He feels that his experience and background, not only in interpretation and translation, but more widely in the humanities and cross-cultural studies, stands him in good stead when teaching interpretation from Russian into English. Being a native English speaker also helps. He feels passionate about learning what other cultures have to tell us and making sure we do not isolate ourselves within one cultural dimension, about acquiring a critical view of our own culture through the study of others.  The thing he most enjoys about teaching at MIIS, is the opportunity of working - in near ideal conditions – to convince a new generation not only of the need for a high degree of professionalism, but to conjugate this with a broader understanding of multiculturalism.

Recent Accomplishments:

Published, together with the Moscow Military University, NATO-Russia Council Consolidated Glossary of  Cooperation (Brussels, 2011, 700pp.).

Awarded medal For Military Cooperation by Russian Federation 2011.


MA (First class) in Modern Languages (Russian and French), Merton College, Oxford University; Voronezh State University (USSR); D. Phil (Ph.D), Oxford; Research Fellow at St. John's College, Oxford (eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Russian literature). Postgrad Diploma in Conference Interpreting Techniques, University of Westminster; EU freelance exams in Russian, French, Italian, Spanish.

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