- Full nameDaniel Speckhard
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- Please list your University and school/program.School:La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin–Madison
- Please enter the degree awarded by your school.Degree:MA in Public Policy and Administration
- Current PositionCurrent Position:President and Chief Executive Officer
- OrganizationOrganization:Lutheran World Relief
1982 La Follette School alum Daniel Speckhard is the president and chief executive officer of Lutheran World Relief.
Previously Speckhard served in various high-level diplomatic roles in Republican and Democratic administrations. Most recently, he was U.S. ambassador to Greece from 2007 to 2010, when he retired as a career diplomat. Just prior to joining Lutheran World Relief, he was a senior advisor at Palantir Technologies and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Speckhard notes that his studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison “really helped me consolidate my thinking and create a deep foundation of understanding of what others have been doing and what has been successful in other parts of the world — a foundation I have called on in many ways throughout my career.”
From 2003 to 2005, Speckhard served as NATO’s director of policy planning responsible for advising and assisting the secretary general, senior NATO management and the North Atlantic Council in addressing strategic issues facing the alliance. From 2000 to 2003, he was NATO’s deputy assistant secretary general for political affairs, covering political relations with the countries of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union and the Mediterranean. During this period, Speckhard received the NATO Service Medal for his crisis management work.
As U.S. ambassador to Belarus from 1997 to 2000, Speckhard worked closely with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Union to promote democratic reform, human rights and institutional development. From 1993 to 1997, he was a deputy to the ambassador-at-large for the New Independent States at the State Department in Washington. He was responsible for a broad range of political, security and economic issues facing large parts of the former Soviet Union.
Earlier in his career Speckhard was an expert on foreign assistance programs and the challenges facing countries in transition. From 1990 to 1993, he served as an advisor and then director of policy and resources for the deputy secretary of state, coordinating and overseeing foreign aid funding in support of U.S. policy objectives. He received special recognition for his role in reorienting these programs to meet the new challenges of the post-Cold War era. From 1981 to 1990, when he joined the U.S. State Department, his assignments included positions in the International Affairs Division of the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Agency for International Development, staff member in the U.S. Senate, and in state and local government.