A graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs was named the 19th U.S. ambassador to NATO this month.
Kurt Volker, a 1987 graduate of Elliott School’s graduate program, said he attributes much of his success to the experiences he had while at GW.
“I chose George Washington University for my master’s degree because I wanted to be in Washington, D.C. and learn from the direct experience of professors who had worked at senior levels of American foreign policy,” Volker said in a news release. Volker could not be reached for comment because he is in Brussels.
The GW alumnus has called for the modernization of NATO to improve security, partnerships with countries outside the alliance, and communication between Europe and North America.
Volker will serve as one of 25 members of the NATO alliance and will be responsible for working with members and representing U.S. interests.
Professor of political science and international affairs Henry Nau said Volker’s career in foreign service and his ability to bring people to the bargaining table make him highly qualified for the position.
“He is an outstanding example of the quality of students and professional leaders that we have been successful in training and developing at the Elliott School for many years,” he said.
Volker also served four years as acting senior director for European and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council, where he was directly involved in NATO policy, preparations for launching NATO operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and strengthening NATO defense capabilities.
Volker said, “It’s exciting to get the fresh perspectives of tomorrow’s leaders in foreign affairs.”