Ambassador Alexander "Sandy" Vershbow is a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center on Strategy and Security and Eurasia Center in Washington DC, where he works on both transatlantic issues and relations with Russia and Ukraine.  He is also the Wolk Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ambassador Vershbow was the Deputy Secretary General of NATO from February 2012 to October 2016, the first American to hold that position.  He was directly involved in shaping the Alliance’s political and military response to Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine in 2014.  Prior to his post at NATO, Ambassador Vershbow served for three years as the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for international security affairs.

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.

Alexander Vershbow is a long-time student of Russian Affairs and international relations. He received a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University (1974) and a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Certificate of the Russian Institute from Columbia University (1976).