Ambassador Alexander “Sandy” Vershbow is a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. Vershbow was the deputy secretary general of NATO from February 2012 to October 2016. Prior to that, he served for three years as the U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. From 1977 to 2008, Vershbow was a career member of the United States Foreign Service, serving as U.S. ambassador to NATO (1998-2001), the Russian Federation (2001-05), and the Republic of Korea (2005-08). During his career, he was centrally involved in strengthening U.S. defense relations with allies in Europe and Asia and in transforming NATO and other European security organizations to meet post-Cold War challenges. He also was involved in efforts to support democracy and human rights in the former Soviet Union.