Daniel V. Speckhard was a nonresident senior fellow with the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council. He is also president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, an international relief and development organization focused on reducing poverty and alleviating suffering in developing countries. Ambassador Speckhard retired as a career diplomat in 2010, after serving as US ambassador to Greece from 2007. His preceding posting was as the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Baghdad, following a year as director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office there.

From 2003 to 2005, Ambassador Speckhard served as director of policy planning responsible for advising and assisting the secretary general, senior NATO management, and the Council in addressing strategic issues facing the alliance. From 2000 to 2003, he was NATO’s deputy assistant secretary general for political affairs, covering political relations with the countries of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, and the Mediterranean. During this period, Ambassador Speckhard received the NATO Service Medal for his crisis management work.

As US ambassador to Belarus from 1997 to 2000, Speckhard worked closely with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union in promoting democratic reform, human rights, and institutional development. From 1993 to 1997, he was a deputy to the ambassador-at-large for the New Independent States at the State Department in Washington. He was responsible for a broad range of political, security, and economic issues facing large parts of the former Soviet Union.

From 1990 to 1993, Ambassador Speckhard served as an adviser and then director of policy and resources for the deputy secretary of state, coordinating and overseeing foreign aid funding in support of US policy objectives. He received special recognition for his role in reorienting these programs to meet the new challenges of the post-Cold War era. From 1981 to 1990, his assignments included positions in the International Affairs Division of the Office of Management and Budget, the US Agency for International Development, staff member in the US Senate, and in state and local government.

Ambassador Speckhard has a MA in public policy and administration and a MA in economics, as well as a BA from the University of Wisconsin.