William Courtney is an adjunct senior fellow at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. He is chair emeritus of the board of trustees of Eurasia Foundation, which carries out U.S. government-funded programs abroad to improve governance, strengthen civil society, and counter disinformation. He co-chairs the international advisory council of the America 250 Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission. The Commission was established by Congress to inspire commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.
In 2014, Ambassador Courtney retired from Computer Sciences Corporation as senior principal for federal policy strategy. From 1972 through 1999 he was a foreign service officer in the Department of State. He served as ambassador to Kazakhstan, Georgia, and the U.S.-Soviet Bilateral Consultative Commission to implement the Threshold Test Ban Treaty. He was special assistant to the president for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia; deputy U.S. negotiator in the U.S.-Soviet Defense and Space Talks; deputy executive secretary of the NSC staff; and special assistant to the under secretary of State for political affairs. He served abroad in Brasilia, Moscow, Geneva, Almaty, and Tbilisi.
Ambassador Courtney is a member and former member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Diplomacy and was a member of the board of directors of the former World Affairs Council of Washington D.C. He belongs to the Council on Foreign Relations, where in 1977–78 he was an international affairs fellow. He graduated from West Virginia University with a B.A. and Brown University with a Ph.D. in economics. He is married and has two adult children.