WASHINGTON, DC – The Atlantic Council congratulates Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., its chairman of the past four years, on his unanimous confirmation by the US Senate as ambassador to Russia.

“There’s no more challenging overseas post, and there’s no more qualified person to fill it,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “Having served now in every administration since Ronald Reagan, and with deep political experience as Utah governor and as a presidential candidate, Governor Huntsman brings unique capabilities to a complicated and crucial assignment.”

Governor Huntsman will assume his third US ambassadorship, following China (2009-2011) and Singapore (1992-1993), at a moment of outsized importance in US-Russia relations.

“Governor Huntsman is one of the few individuals who captures both the essence of bipartisanship and the political savvy to get things done,” Frederick Kempe further stated. “A testament to Governor Huntsman’s skilled leadership, he will be the first American diplomat to have served as ambassador to both China and Russia. The Senate’s unanimous voice vote underscores his bipartisan ethos. ”

As a deeply engaged and creative chairman, Governor Huntsman has presided over the Atlantic Council over a period of significant growth and historic importance. He at the same time held several key private sector board positions at Caterpillar, Chevron, Ford Motor Company, and Hilton Worldwide.

Governor Huntsman began his career in public service as a staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan, and continued his service since then in critical roles around the world. Twice elected governor of Utah, Huntsman brought about strong economic reforms, tripled the state’s rainy-day fund, and helped bring unemployment rates to historic lows.

During his tenure, Utah was named the best managed state in America. Recognized by others for his service, Governor Huntsman was elected as chairman of the Western Governors Association, serving nineteen states throughout the region. 

General James L. Jones, Jr. has accepted the offer of the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council’s Board of Directors to serve as interim chair during the search for Governor Huntsman’s replacement. General Jones served as Chairman of the Atlantic Council from 2007-2009, prior to assuming his post as National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama.

General Jones, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and former Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, also serves as chairman of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.