William Harrison Courtney

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William Harrison Courtney (born July 18, 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA) is an American diplomat, having served as representative for the U.S. mostly in Eastern Europe.

He was appointed by President Bill Clinton as Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasian affairs in 1997.[1] He had previously served as Ambassador to Georgia.[2] Prior to that, Courtney was Ambassador to Kazakhstan,[3] and co-chair of the U.S. delegation on Safety, Security and Dismantlement of Nuclear Weapons, and head of the U.S. delegation, with rank of Ambassador, to the implementing commissions established by the Threshold Test Ban and Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaties. Earlier, he served in the Nuclear and Space Talks in Geneva and at the American Embassies in Moscow and Brasilia. He was an international affairs fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and from 1972 to 1999 was a career Foreign Service Officer. He is a member of the Council, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the board of directors of the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC.

Dr. Courtney graduated from West Virginia University (B.A., 1966) and Brown University (Ph.D., 1980). He is married and has two children.


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Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
None (Position Created)
United States Ambassador to Kazakhstan
1992 – 1994
Succeeded by
A. Elizabeth Jones
Preceded by
Kent N. Brown
United States Ambassador to Georgia
1995 – 1997
Succeeded by
Kenneth Spencer Yalowitz