Ambassador Alexander “Sandy” Vershbow is a distinguished fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Ambassador Vershbow was the deputy secretary general of NATO from February 2012 to October 2016.
Prior to his post at NATO, Ambassador Vershbow served for three years as the US assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. In that position, he was responsible for coordinating US security and defense policies relating to the nations and international organizations of Europe (including NATO), the Middle East, and Africa.
From 1977 to 2008, Vershbow was a career member of the United States Foreign Service. He served as US ambassador to NATO (1998-2001); to the Russian Federation (2001-05); and to the Republic of Korea (2005-08). He held numerous senior positions in Washington, including special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council (1994-97) and State Department director for Soviet Union affairs (1988-91). During his career, he was centrally involved in strengthening US defense relations with allies in Europe and Asia and in transforming NATO and other European security organizations to meet post-Cold War challenges. He also was involved in efforts to support democracy and human rights in the former Soviet Union.