John E. Herbst
Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
TopicsInternational Security, Middle East Security, NATO and its Partners, US Foreign Policy, US-Afghanistan Relations
RegionsCentral Asia, Eurasia, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, Russia, Ukraine
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March 01, 2015Passive Responses to Putin Darken the Future for Ukraine—and for Russia The professional killing of Boris Nemtsov February 27 confronts us with two facts that Western policymakers ignore at great cost in the Russia-Ukraine war. First, Mr. Putin’s war in…
March 01, 2015The Philly Inquirer quotes Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Director John Herbst on the Ukrainian pilot being held in a Moscow prison and how the West should respond:
February 28, 2015Boris Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader, was shot dead near the Kremlin in Moscow on February 27. Nemtsov, a former Deputy Prime Minister, had accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of leading Russia into a crisis with the West with…
February 23, 2015The National Journal quotes Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Director John Herbst on the crisis in Ukraine, big power politics, and Russia's national security threat:
February 19, 2015Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Director John Herbst joins Sky News to discuss the breakdown of the Ukraine ceasfire in Debaltseve:
Ambassador Herbst served for thirty-one years as a Foreign Service officer in the US Department of State, retiring at the rank of career-minister. He was US ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006, when he worked to enhance US-Ukrainian relations, help ensure the conduct of a fair Ukrainian presidential election, and prevent violence during the Orange Revolution. Prior to that, he was ambassador to Uzbekistan (2000-03), where he played a critical role in the establishment of an American base to help conduct Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He also promoted improved US-Uzbek relations, in part by encouraging the government in Tashkent to improve its human rights record.
In his last four years at the State Department, he served as the coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization, leading the US government's civilian capacity in societies in transition from conflict or civil strife, and to provide support to countries at risk of instability. He oversaw the establishment of the Civilian Response Corps of the United States, the US civilian rapid response force for reconstruction and stabilization operations overseas.
Ambassador Herbst previously served as US consul general in Jerusalem; principal deputy to the ambassador-at-large for the Newly Independent States; the director of the Office of Independent States and Commonwealth Affairs; director of regional affairs in the Near East Bureau; and at the embassies in Tel Aviv, Moscow, and Saudi Arabia.
He most recently served as director of the Center for Complex Operations at National Defense University. He has received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award, and the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award. Ambassador Herbst has written book chapters, articles, and op-eds on on stability operations in Central Asia, Ukraine, and Russia. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, The National Interest, and Foreign Policy. He has been a frequent guest discussing the Ukraine crisis on television and radio.
Ambassador Herbst earned a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Phi Beta Kappa, and a Master of Law and Diplomacy, with distinction, from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He also attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Bologna Center. He is married to Nadezda Christoff Herbst. The couple has five children and five grandchildren.