Kurt Volker Bio, Wiki
Kurt Douglas Volker is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO and served as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership. He worked in a volunteer capacity as the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine until his resignation on September 27th, 2019.
On Tuesday, November 19th Kurt Volker will publicly testify in the impeachment inquiry about his role as one of Trump’s point people negotiating with Ukraine.
Kurt Volker Parents
Kurt Volker was born in 1964 in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, to Benjamin and Thelma (Rowdon) Volker.
Kurt Volker Education
Volker graduated from Hatboro-Horsham Senior High School and later joined Temple University graduating with a B.A. in International Affairs in 1984. He was awarded an M.A. in International Relations from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in 1987.
Kurt Volker Private Public Sector Career
In 1988, Volker joined the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in the United States Foreign Service after a short tenure as a CIA analyst. While in the Foreign Service, he served in various assignments overseas including London and Brussels, and the US Embassy in Budapest (1994–1997). Volker was special assistant to the United States special envoy for Bosnia negotiations, Richard Holbrooke.
Volker served as a legislative fellow on the staff of Senator John McCain from 1997 to 1998. In 1998, he became the first secretary of the US mission to NATO, and in 1999 he was sent to Deputy Director of NATO Secretary-General George Robertson’s private office, serving in that position until 2001.
He later was appointed the acting director for European and Eurasian Affairs for the National Security Council. In that capacity, he was in charge of US preparations for the 2004 Istanbul summit of NATO members and the 2002 Prague summit. In July 2005, Volker became the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, serving in that position until he was appointed the United States Permanent Representative to NATO in July 2008 by President George W. Bush. Volker served in that position from July 2nd, 2008, to May 15th, 2009.
Kurt Volker Private sector Career
Volker started working in the private sector in 2009, becoming an independent director at The Wall Street Fund Inc, where he worked until 2012. He was a member of the board of directors at Capital Guardian Funds Trust beginning in 2013. Volker was also an independent director at Evercore Wealth Management Macro Opportunity Fund until 2012.
Volker served as a senior advisor at McLarty Associates, a global consulting firm from 2010–2011.
H joined BGR Group in 2011, a Washington-based lobbying firm and investment bank, where he currently serves as a managing director in the firm’s international group.
He then became executive director of Arizona State University’s McCain Institute for International Leadership when it was launched in 2012. He resigned in 2019.
He has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies since September 2009, and a Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council since October 2009. Volker is currently listed as a trustee at the CG Funds Trust, and a member of the board of trustees at IAU College in Aix-en-Provence. He is also a member of the board of directors at The Hungary Initiatives Foundation. In addition, Volker is a member of the Atlantic Partnership with such luminaries as Senator Sam Nunn, Dr Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and Lord Powell of Bayswater among others.
Kurt Volker Special Representative for Ukraine
On July 7th, 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed Ambassador Kurt Volker as the US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. Volker accompanied Tillerson on his trip to Ukraine two days later. On September 27, 2019, Volker resigned from this official, yet volunteer, position.
Kurt Volker Trump–Ukraine scandal
President Volodymyr Zelensky at his 2019 inauguration; he is shaking hands with Ambassador Volker as US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry looks on. In mid-September 2019, reports began to surface suggesting that a whistleblower complaint had been submitted to Michael K. Atkinson, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, which he found to be credible and a matter of “urgent concern”. Subsequently, claims were advanced by various chairmen of U.S. House committees that Kurt Volker, while acting in his official capacity as US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, had been told by the White House “to intercede with President Zelensky” about investigations regarding Joe Biden and Paul Manafort. Volker met with Zelensky the day after President Trump spoke by phone with the Ukrainian president, a call which would later reportedly result in a whistleblower complaint. Two days after Volker’s meeting, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats resigned, resulting in a stand-off regarding whether the new acting DNI would share the complaint with Congress.
NBC News has reported, in regard to the Volker text that Giuliani allegedly received, “Whether Volker was acting on orders from Trump is unclear, and the State Department hasn’t said why Volker made the introduction, other than that the Ukrainian aide requested it. But the introduction ultimately led to a meeting between Yermak and Giuliani in Spain that the whistleblower wrote was a ‘direct follow-up’ to Trump’s call.”
In the White House transcript of the July 25 telephone call between the two presidents, President Zelensky is quoted as saying, “I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine.” Notably, the date on the screenshot of the purported text message from Volker to Giuliani is July 19, six days earlier.
On September 27th, 2019, Volker resigned hours after congressional Democrats announced he would be called to provide a deposition.
Volker was interviewed in a closed session of the House committees leading the Trump impeachment inquiry on October 3rd, 2019, and his prepared statement was made public on October 4th, 2019. The Washington Post reported that he asserted he had warned Giuliani that he (Giulani) was receiving untrustworthy information about the Bidens from Ukrainian political figures.
Kurt Volker Wife (la Meurmishvili)
In June 2019, Volker married Georgian journalist for Voice of America Ia Meurmishvili. He was previously married to Karen Volker, with whom he had two daughters. He speaks English, Hungarian, Swedish, and French.
Ia Meurmishvili posted photos of their wedding on Facebook saying “Everything was beautiful – the weather, people, atmosphere, music… it was a perfect engagement party!!”. The wedding was held in The Hay-Adams Hotel.