Ross Wilson is the former director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council and serves now as a Distinguished Senior Fellow.
As director of the Eurasia Center, Ambassador Wilson led the Atlantic Council’s work on the region that extends from East-Central Europe across the Black and Caspian Seas and beyond to Central Asia. Key areas of emphasis include regional political issues and prospects, energy, and overall economic development, trade, and integration within and across the region. The Atlantic Council hosts conferences, workshops, and symposia in Washington and in the region on these and other issues, and its flagship activity is its annual Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum.
In December 2008, he completed nearly three decades in the US Foreign Service, including six years as American ambassador to Turkey from 2005 to 2008 and to Azerbaijan from 2000 to 2003. Elsewhere overseas, he served at the US embassies in Moscow and Prague and was American consul general in Melbourne, Australia.
In Washington, Ambassador Wilson served as chief of staff for Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick in 2005. He was chief US negotiator for the free trade area of the Americas while on detail to the Office of the US Trade Representative in 2003 through 2005. In 1997 through 2000, Ambassador Wilson served as principal deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States (of the former Soviet Union). He was deputy executive secretary of the State Department from 1992 to 1994, managing the policy process for Secretaries of State Lawrence Eagleburger and Warren Christopher, and before that was an aide to State Department Counselor and Undersecretary Zoellick. Early in his career, Ambassador Wilson served in the State Department’s offices dealing with the Soviet Union and Egypt.
A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ambassador Wilson received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and master’s degrees from Columbia University and the US National War College. While in the diplomatic service, he won the President’s Meritorious Service Award, as well as numerous Department of State awards and honors. He serves as chairman of the board of the Institute of Turkish Studies and is a member of the Academy of American Diplomacy, the American Foreign Service Association, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR), and the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs.