Ambassador Kurt Volker
Permanent Representative – United States of America
2008 – 2009
Kurt Volker was sworn in as the 19th United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on July 2, 2008.
Ambassador Volker is a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service with over 20 years of experience working on European political and security issues under four U.S. Administrations. Before coming to NATO, Ambassador Volker served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs from July 2005 until June 2008. As second-in-command of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, he focused on working with Europe as a whole to address the common challenges our nations face, based on our shared democratic values. He was responsible for U.S. policy toward NATO, U.S.-European Union relations, the OSCE, working with Europe on global challenges such as climate change, as well as our numerous bilateral relationships. He also oversaw strategic planning, congressional relations, and post management for the Bureau.
Ambassador Volker previously served as Acting Senior Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC). He served at the NSC for four years, where as Director for NATO and West Europe, he was responsible for transatlantic relations, NATO policy, and bilateral relations with the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and seven other countries. During his time at the NSC, Ambassador Volker was responsible for U.S. preparations for the 2004 NATO Istanbul Summit and 2002 Prague Summit.
From 1999 to 2001, Ambassador Volker was Deputy Director of the Private Office of then-NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson. He was First Secretary at the U.S. Mission to NATO from 1998 to 1999, responsible for the Membership Action Plan and Partnership for Peace issues.
Ambassador Volker was a State Department Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Senate from 1997-1998, working on foreign policy matters for Senator John McCain. His prior Foreign Service assignments include Budapest, London, and several positions in the U.S. Department of State.
Ambassador Volker has a B.A. from Temple University and an M.A. in international relations from George Washington University. He has studied in Sweden and France and speaks Hungarian, Swedish and French. He is married to Karen Volker, also a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, and has two daughters.