Hariri Center Director Michele Dunne and Senior Fellow Amy Hawthorne reflect on US policy toward the Middle East and North Africa in the two years since President Barack Obama promised to make it a top priority to support democracy and human rights in the region.
J. Peter Pham, director the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, was one of four experts invited to address a high-level international conference on the crisis in the Sahel region convened today in The Hague.
Rudolph Atallah, senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, testified at a House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on “The Growing Crisis in Africa’s Sahel Region.”
On the heels of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the United States, Energy & Environment Program Associate Director Mihaela Carstei joins CTV to discuss the Keystone Pipeline project that would transport tar sands oil from Canada and the northern United States to refineries in the Gulf coast of Texas.
He is a former US Ambassador to NATO, is executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, a part of Arizona State University, and is also senior fellow of the Center on Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
Prior to joining SAIS, Ambassador Volker was a career member of the United States Senior Foreign Service, with over 23 years of experience working on European political and security issues under five US Administrations. He served as ambassador and the 19th US permanent representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from July 2, 2008 until May 17, 2009, leading the 156-person strong US Mission to NATO.
At NATO, Ambassador Volker straddled the transition covering the Bush and Obama Administrations, and oversaw US preparations for NATO’s 60th Anniversary Summit, which took place in Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany on April 3-4, 2009. He worked to rebuild a stronger sense of community within the Alliance, and to use that renewed solidarity to strengthen support for NATO operations in Afghanistan, relations with Russia and Europe’s East, peace and stability in the Balkans, and NATO’s role in tackling security challenges in the 21st Century.
Prior to his service at 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 US policy on US-European Union relations, NATO, the OSCE, working with Europe on global challenges such as climate change, as well as our numerous bilateral relationships. He oversaw strategic planning and congressional relations, and was responsible for management of the bureau, which included roughly 78 overseas posts, 300 domestic employees, and a budget of $400 million.
Ambassador Volker had 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 US 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 US Mission to NATO from 1998 to 1999, responsible for the Membership Action Plan and Partnership for Peace issues.
As a State Department legislative fellow in the US Senate from 1997-1998, Ambassador Volker worked on foreign policy matters for Senator John McCain. His prior Foreign Service assignments include Budapest, London, and several positions in the US Department of State.
Ambassador Volker has a BA from Temple University and an MA in international relations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He has studied in Sweden and France and speaks Hungarian, Swedish and French. He is married and has two daughters.
On May 23, the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Peace and Security Initiative at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security is hosting a panel discussion on new developments in security cooperation among the United States, its European allies, and the Gulf states, and how they are likely to evolve in the coming years.
On May 30, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will release a new issue brief, The Kaleidoscope Turns Again in a Crisis-Challenged Iran, a discussion of Iran’s upcoming presidential elections.
From June 13-14, the 2013 Wrocław Global Forum will bring together over 350 top policy-makers and business leaders to explore the region’s impact as an actor in Europe, as well as its crucial role in the transatlantic partnership and on the global stage.