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Kurt D Volker (born 27 December 1964)[2] is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO and presently serves as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, and in a volunteer capacity as the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine.

Kurt Volker
Kurt Volker U.S. State Department.jpg
United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations
Assumed office
July 7, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byPosition established
United States Ambassador to NATO
In office
July 2, 2008 – May 15, 2009
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byVictoria Nuland
Succeeded byIvo Daalder
Personal details
Born (1964-12-27) December 27, 1964 (age 54)
Pennsylvania, U.S.
Spouse(s)Ia Meurmishvili[1]
EducationTemple University (BA)
George Washington University (MA)



Early lifeEdit

Kurt Volker was born in 1964 in Pennsylvania, to Benjamin and Thelma (Rowdon) Volker.[3] He graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in International Affairs in 1984. He also holds an M.A. in International Relations from The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.[4]


Volker began his career in foreign affairs as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency in 1986.[2]

In 1988, he joined the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in the United States Foreign Service.[2] While in the Foreign Service, he served in various assignments overseas including London and Brussels, and the US Embassy in Budapest (1994-1997). Volker was special assistant to the United States special envoy for Bosnia negotiations, Richard Holbrooke.

Volker served as a legislative fellow on the staff of Senator John McCain from 1997 to 1998. In 1998, he became first secretary of the US mission to NATO, and in 1999 he was sent to Deputy Director of NATO Secretary-General George Robertson's private office, serving in that position until 2001.[5]

He then became acting director for European and Eurasian Affairs for the National Security Council, in that capacity he was in charge of US preparations for 2004 Istanbul summit of NATO members and the 2002 Prague summit. In July 2005, Volker became the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, serving in that position until he was appointed United States Permanent Representative to NATO in July 2008 by President George W. Bush.[5]Volker served in that position from July 2, 2008 to May 15, 2009.[5]

Volker went into the private sector in 2009, becoming an independent director at The Wall Street Fund Inc[6], where he worked until 2012. He was a member of the board of directors at Capital Guardian Funds Trust[7] beginning in 2013[8]. Volker was also an independent director at Evercore Wealth Management Macro Opportunity Fund until 2012[9].

Volker served as a senior advisor at McLarty Associates, a global consulting firm from 2010 – 2011.

In 2011, he joined BGR Group, a Washington-based lobbying firm and investment bank, where he currently serves as a managing director in the firm's international group.[10]

He then became executive director of Arizona State University's McCain Institute for International Leadership[11]when it was launched[12] in 2012.

He has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies since September 2009, and a Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council since October 2009. Volker is currently listed as a trustee at the CG Funds Trust[13], and a member of the board of trustees at IAU College in Aix-en-Provence. He is also a member of the board of directors at The Hungary Initiatives Foundation[14]. In addition, Volker is a member of the Atlantic Partnership[15] with such luminaries as Senator Sam Nunn, Dr Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and Lord Powell of Bayswater among others.

On 7 July 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed Ambassador Kurt Volker as the special representative for Ukraine.[16] Volker accompanied Tillerson on his trip to Ukraine two days later.

Volker speaks English, Hungarian, Swedish, and French.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Volker has one daughter and one son.


  1. ^ "ამერიკელი დიპლომატი ქართველ ჟურნალისტზე დაქორწინდა". PrimeTime. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Kurt Volker". NNDB.
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  5. ^ a b c "Kurt Volker: Ambassador, United States Permanent Representative". US Mission to Nato.
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External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Victoria Nuland
United States Ambassador to NATO
Succeeded by
Ivo Daalder
New office United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations