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Ross Wilson (ambassador)
|United States Ambassador to Afghanistan
January 18, 2020
|Preceded by||John R. Bass|
|Succeeded by||William P. Ruger (nominee)|
|United States Ambassador to Turkey|
December 8, 2005 – August 9, 2008
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Eric S. Edelman|
|Succeeded by||James Franklin Jeffrey|
|United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan|
October 11, 2000 – April 24, 2003
George W. Bush
|Preceded by||Stanley Tuemler Escudero|
|Succeeded by||Reno L. Harnish|
|Born||1955 (age 64–65)
Ross L. Wilson (born 1955) is an American diplomat who has served as the acting United States Ambassador to Afghanistan since 2020. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey from 2005 to 2008 and the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan from 2000 to 2003, with the personal rank of Minister-Counselor. He also teaches part-time at The George Washington University. Ambassador Wilson is also the current Director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council.
Early life and education
Wilson was born in 1955 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received a Bachelor's degree magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and Master's degrees from Columbia University (1979) and the U.S. National War College (1995). Early in his career, he served in the State Department’s Offices of Soviet Union and Egyptian Affairs.
He served as U.S. Consul General at the American embassy in Moscow, USSR from 1980 to 1982, at the American embassy in Prague, Czechoslovakia from 1985 to 1987, again in Moscow from 1987 to 1990. He was Special Assistant to Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Counselor of the Department Zoellick in 1990–1992. From 1992 to 1994, Wilson worked in Washington D.C. for Secretaries of State Baker, Eagleburger and Christopher in 1992–1994 as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State. He later served as U.S. Consul General again in Melbourne, Australia from 1995 to 1997.
From 1997 to 2000, Wilson was Principal Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large and Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union.
President Clinton nominated him as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan in February 2000, and he served in that capacity in 2000–2003. Between June 2003 and February 2005, Wilson served as U.S. Senior Negotiator for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. In this capacity, he headed the U.S. delegation in the FTAA negotiations and was responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of U.S. government negotiating positions and strategies in these trade talks. Between February and August 2005, Wilson served as Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff for Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, providing policy and staff support to the Deputy Secretary on the entire range of issues in U.S. foreign policy.
Wilson was nominated to serve at the Ankara embassy by President George W. Bush on October 28, 2005. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 18 and sworn in by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on December 2. He arrived in Turkey on December 3 and presented his credentials to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on December 8, 2005.
On July 10, 2008, a guard post outside the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey was attacked by three gunmen. They killed three Turkish police officers, and wounded several others, before being killed by Turkish police. In response to the attack, Wilson stated:
I want to express my condolences to the families of three Turkish police personnel who were killed in the attack that took place earlier today on our Consulate General in Istanbul. I understand there may be an additional two Turkish police who are wounded, and they are in our thoughts and prayers. [...]
The Turkish police responded quickly and effectively. We are deeply grateful for the work that they do to protect our official U.S. Government establishments here. We are cooperating closely with them, of course. [...]
It is an obvious act of terrorism. Our countries will stand together and confront this, as we have in the past.
Wilson is the recipient of the President’s Meritorious Service Award (2005), Azerbaijan’s Order of Honor, and numerous State Department awards.
He is married to Margo Squire, who is also a career diplomat with the State Department. They have two sons.
Eric S. Edelman
| United States Ambassador to Turkey
James Franklin Jeffrey
Stanley T. Escudero
| United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan
Reno L. Harnish
John R. Bass
| United States Ambassador to Afghanistan
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