The Honorable William H. Courtney

U.S. Ambassador, retired; Adjunct Senior Fellow, RAND Corporation and Executive Director, RAND Business Leaders Forum

The Honorable William H. Courtney

U.S. Ambassador, retired; Adjunct Senior Fellow, RAND Corporation and Executive Director, RAND Business Leaders Forum

Ambassador William Courtney is an adjunct senior fellow at the RAND Corporation and executive director of the RAND Business Leaders Forum. Just before, he was senior principal for policy strategy in the North American public sector of Computer Sciences Corporation. He was a Foreign Service officer in the U.S. Department of State from 1972 through 1999. Before retiring, he served as senior advisor to the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission). While there, he co-chaired the U.S. delegation to the review conference that prepared for the 1999 summit in Istanbul of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Earlier, he helped manage the reorganization of U.S. foreign affairs agencies, served as special assistant to the president for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, and was ambassador to Georgia and Kazakhstan.

He served as U.S. commissioner, with rank of ambassador, in negotiations with Russia to implement the Threshold Test Ban Treaty, U.S. deputy negotiator in the U.S.-Soviet Defense and Space talks in Geneva, deputy executive secretary of the National Security Council staff, and special assistant to the undersecretary of state for political affairs. Previously he did tours at the U.S. embassies in Brasilia and Moscow. He received the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive.

He graduated from West Virginia University with a B.A. and Brown University with a Ph.D. in economics, and was an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He belongs to the Council, and to the boards of directors of the American Academy of Diplomacy and the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC. He is married with two adult children and resides in Washington, DC. 

© 2015-2017 Eurasia Foundation