Alexander Vershbow

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Alexander Vershbow "was sworn in as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea on October 14, 2005 and took up his duties on October 17, 2005. He is a career member of the Foreign Service, with rank of Career Minister, and has extensive experience in East-West relations, non-proliferation and European security affairs.

"From July 2001 to July 2005, Ambassador Vershbow served as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. During his tenure, the Ambassador worked to promote U.S.-Russian cooperation in the areas of counterterrorism and counter-proliferation, and to expand the agenda to encompass new challenges such as HIV/AIDS. He was a consistent advocate, for the causes of democracy, human rights and rule of law in Russia, and received the American Bar Association’s 2004 Ambassador’s Award for these efforts. He also promoted U.S. business interests in Russia, advancing American trade, exports and investment during a period of unprecedented Russian economic growth, while campaigning for the protection of intellectual property rights.

"From January 1998 until July 2001, Alexander Vershbow served as the U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). As U.S. Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council, Ambassador Vershbow was centrally involved in transforming NATO to meet the challenges of the post-Cold War era, including the admission of new members and the development of relations with Russia. In June 2001, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell awarded Ambassador Vershbow the State Department's Distinguished Service Award for his work at NATO.

"From 1994 to 1997, Alexander Vershbow served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council. During this period, he helped shape U.S. Policy toward NATO enlargement, the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, and other U.S.-European issues. He was a principal member of the U.S. team that helped negotiate the Founding Act between NATO and the Russian Federation signed in 1997. In October 1997, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen presented Mr. Vershbow with the first annual Joseph J. Kruzel Award for his contributions to the cause of peace.

"Ambassador Vershbow is a long-time student of Russian Affairs and international relations. He received a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale College (1974) and a Master's Degree in International Relations and Certificate of the Russian Institute from Columbia University (1976). He has held a series of assignments since joining the Foreign Service in 1977, including postings to the U.S. Embassies in Moscow and London and Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the Strategic Arms Reductions Talks in Geneva. Ambassador Vershbow was director of the State Department's Office of Soviet Union Affairs during the last years of the USSR and participated in numerous U.S.-Soviet summits and ministerial meetings. In 1990, he was awarded the Anatoly Sharansky Freedom Award by the Union of Councils of Soviet Jews for his work in advancing the cause of Jewish emigration from the USSR.

"In 1991, Ambassador Vershbow was posted to NATO as U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge d'affaires of the U.S. Mission, where he participated in NATO's earliest initiatives to forge cooperative relations with Russia and the other states of the former Warsaw Pact. He served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs from 1993-1994, before joining the National Security Council Staff in 1994." [1] [1]

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  1. Alexander Vershbow, US State Department, accessed April 16, 2008.