September 14, 2009

Former NATO Ambassador Volker joins SAIS Center on Transatlantic Relations

The SAIS Center on Transatlantic Relations has announced the appointment of Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as managing director and senior fellow, effective Sept. 8.

“We are delighted to have Kurt Volker join SAIS and the Center for Transatlantic Relations,” said Daniel Hamilton, CTR executive director. “With 23 years of government service, Ambassador Volker brings to the center a wealth of experience in U.S.-European political, economic and security relations, as well as in media and public diplomacy.”

In his role, Volker is responsible for a broad portfolio of CTR activities, including seminars, policy study groups, media commentary and research projects on current issues in transatlantic relations.

At NATO, Volker worked for both the Bush and Obama administrations, coordinating preparations for NATO’s 60th Anniversary Summit. “His strong and balanced leadership after the Russia-Georgia war–urging renewed commitment to collective defense while reshaping NATO’s relationship with Russia–won plaudits from Central Europe and Western Europe alike,” Hamilton said.

Before assuming duties at NATO in 2008, Volker worked for three years as the State Department’s No. 2 official dealing with European policy. As principal deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, he oversaw U.S.-EU relations; NATO and OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) policy; bilateral relations with Western Europe; and cooperation with Europe on global challenges such as disease, climate change and trafficking in persons, as well as bureau personnel and management issues.

Volker served for four years on the National Security Council staff and for two years as deputy chief of staff to then NATO Secretary-General George Robertson. He also was a legislative fellow on the staff of Sen. John McCain. During his U.S. Foreign Service career, he held a variety of assignments in Brussels, Budapest, London and Washington.

The SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, named by Foreign Policy magazine in 2009 as one of the Top 30 Global Go-To Think Tanks, sponsors policy research, seminars and media activities addressing current challenges facing Europe and North America.