Michael C. Polt

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Michael C. Polt, U.S. Ambassador to Estonia

Michael Christian Polt (born 1954 in Austria) is a United States diplomat. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia from 2009 to 2012. Currently he is a Senior Director at the McCain Institute.


Prior to his latest diplomatic mission, he led the Department of State's Bureau of Legislative Affairs as Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary during the transition between Presidential Administrations in 2009. The Ambassador was on temporary assignment at the German Marshall Fund of the United States as Senior Transatlantic Fellow in 2008. During 2004-2007, Mr. Polt served as United States Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro.

During his three decades as a career diplomat, Mr. Polt served as U.S. Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany and Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d′Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. He has also served as Senior Advisor to the Director General of the Foreign Service for Management Reform and was a key member of the Senior Management Steering Board directing the State Department's 2003-2005 multimillion dollar reinvention of its Diplomatic Communications System.

Ambassador Polt has held other senior positions in the Department of State, as Deputy Director for European Security and Arms Control issues, and in Panama City as Political Conselor of the U.S. Embassy during the time leading up to the U.S. military action against the Noriega regime in 1989. During his earlier career, Mr. Polt was assigned to Embassies in Bonn, Mexico City, and Copenhagen, as well as the U.S. Consulate in Bremen, Germany.

The Ambassador has been the repeated recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Service Award and numerous Department of State Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards for Outstanding Policy Leadership, Management, Crisis Performance, and Political Analysis. He has been awarded the Thomas Jefferson Award for Service to U.S. Citizens Overseas by American Citizens Abroad.

Polt was born in Austria. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Master's Degree in Public Administration and lives in suburban Virginia when on assignment in Washington. Ambassador Polt and his wife Hallie have two children, Nicholas and Lindsay.


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Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Stanley Davis Phillips
United States Ambassador to Estonia
Succeeded by
Jeffrey D. Levine