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  National
Alexander Vershbow Security Expert on Russia, Europe
Vershbow Named as New US Envoy to Seoul
Serving As US Ambassador to Moscow Since 2001
New US Ambassador-designate Alexander Vershbow, the current US Ambassador to Moscow

Mr. Alexander Vershbow, the current US Ambassador to Moscow, has been designated as the new US Ambassador to Seoul. Mr. Vershbow is known as an expert on security affairs in Russia and Europe area.

Amb. Vershbow is known to have personal ties with the former US Ambassador to Seoul Christopher Hills, who now serves as assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. US ambassadorship has been vacant since Hill was appointed as assistant secretary March 4, 2005.

Alexander Vershbow took up his duties as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation on July 19, 2001. He is a career member of the Foreign Service, with rank of Career Minister, and has extensive experience in East-West relations and European security affairs.

From January 1998 until July 2001, Alexander Vershbow served as the U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). As U.S. 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 through the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. 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 and East European Affairs. 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.

Ambassador Vershbow was born in Boston, Massachusetts and is now a resident of the District of Columbia. His wife, Lisa Vershbow, also a Boston native, is a professional jewelry designer and art instructor. The Vershbows have two sons: Benjamin, who graduated from Yale College in 2002, and Gregory, who currently attends Hampshire College.




 

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