William Courtney is retired from the U.S. Foreign Service, where he served from 1972 through 1999. He co-chaired the U.S. delegation to the conference that prepared for the 1999 OSCE summit in Istanbul, advised on reorganizing foreign affairs agencies, and served as special assistant to the President for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. Earlier he was U.S. ambassador to Georgia, Kazakhstan, and a U.S.-Soviet nuclear testing commission; deputy negotiator in US-Soviet defense and space talks in Geneva; special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for political affairs; and an officer at US embassies in Moscow and Brasilia. He was an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a member of the Council and of the boards of directors of the American Academy of Diplomacy and the World Affairs Council of Washington D.C. He graduated from West Virginia University with a BA and Brown University with a PhD in economics.