Former U.S. Senior Foreign Service Officer with deep European experience and relationships at the top levels of the Transatlantic diplomatic and policy communities
Ambassador to NATO, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Acting Senior Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council
Ambassador Kurt Volker provides strategic advice to BGR on a full range of international issues. He previously served as Managing Director, International, for BGR in 2011-2012.
A former career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, he had more than 23 years of experience working on European policy under five presidential administrations. He served as Ambassador to NATO from 2008 to 2009, straddling the transition from the Bush to the Obama administrations.
From July 2005 to June 2008, Ambassador Volker served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. He was responsible for American policy on U.S.-European Union relations, NATO, the OSCE and numerous other bilateral relationships. He oversaw strategic planning and congressional relations and was responsible for managing approximately 78 overseas posts, 300 domestic employees and a budget of $400 million.
Prior to this, Ambassador Volker served at the National Security Council for four years, first as Director for NATO and Western Europe, and then as Acting Senior Director for European and Eurasian Affairs. He was responsible for Transatlantic relations, NATO policy and bilateral relations with several European countries, and headed U.S. preparations for two NATO Summits.
From 1999 to 2001, Ambassador Volker was Deputy Director of the Private Office of then?NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson. As a State Department Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Senate from 1997 to 1998, Ambassador Volker worked on foreign policy matters for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
His Foreign Service assignments include Brussels, Budapest, London, and several positions in the U.S. Department of State.
Ambassador Volker is currently the Executive Director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, a part of Arizona State University. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and is a member of the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Advisory Group.
Additionally, he serves on the Board of Capital Guardian Funds Trust, the Hungarian Initiatives Foundation, the Atlantic Partnership (U.S.), and is a Trustee of IAU College in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Ambassador Volker contributes regularly to public policy debates through appearances on BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, and Fox News as well as in publications such as The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, La Stampa, the Christian Science Monitor, and many others.
Ambassador Volker has a B.A. from Temple University and an M.A. in International Relations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He has studied in Sweden and France and speaks Hungarian, Swedish and French.