Ambassador John Beyrle was elected Chairman of the U.S. Russia Foundation on October 2018. Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Beyrle served as an American diplomat for more than three decades in foreign postings and domestic assignments focused on Central and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Russia. He was twice appointed ambassador: to Bulgaria (2005-08) and to Russia (2008-12). During the latter assignment he led the implementation of policies resulting in improved U.S.-Russian relations, highlighted by the signing of the START nuclear arms reduction treaty, Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization, and liberalized visa formalities.
Ambassador Beyrle’s diplomatic service included two earlier tours at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, including as deputy chief of mission. He also served as counselor for political and economic affairs at the U.S. embassy in the Czech Republic, and a member of the U.S. delegation to the CFE arms control negotiations in Vienna. His Washington assignments included special adviser to the secretary of state for the New Independent States, and director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. He traveled extensively with Secretaries of State George Shultz and James Baker as a staff officer in the 1980s, and served as a Pearson Fellow and adviser to Senator Paul Simon, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Ambassador Beyrle received the Presidential Meritorious Service Award during the Administration of George W. Bush, and the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from President Obama. Secretary of State Clinton presented him with the Distinguished Service Award, the State Department’s highest honor. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2012. Ambassador Beyrle serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law and provides consulting services to non-profit and corporate clients.
A native of Muskegon, Michigan, Mr. Beyrle received a B.A. with honors from Grand Valley State University (1975) and an M.S. as a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College (1996), where he later taught as a visiting professor of national security studies. He speaks Bulgarian, Czech, French, German and Russian. He is married to Jocelyn Greene, also a retired Foreign Service officer. They have two daughters.