John R. Beyrle, '75
John R. Beyrle is United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation. He arrived in Moscow to take up his posting in July 2008, and presented credentials to President Dmitriy Medvedev September 13, 2008.
A career officer in the Senior Foreign Service at the rank of Minister-Counselor, Ambassador Beyrle has held policy positions and foreign assignments with an emphasis on U.S. relations with Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and the USSR since joining the State Department in 1983.
Ambassador Beyrle’s overseas service has included two previous tours at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, including as Deputy Chief of Mission. Most recently he served as Ambassador to Bulgaria from 2005-08. Other overseas assignments include Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic, and member of the U.S. Delegation to the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty negotiations in Vienna. Washington assignments include Acting Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States, and Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council. He served as a staff officer to Secretaries of State George Shultz and James Baker, and as a Pearson Fellow and foreign policy adviser to the late Senator Paul Simon.
Ambassador Beyrle is the recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Service Award, and the Baker-Wilkins Award as the State Department’s Outstanding Deputy Chief of Mission. He has been awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for outstanding performance four times. In 2008, he was awarded a doctoral degree honoris causa by the American University in Bulgaria, and was presented the order of Stara Planina, Bulgaria’s highest state award.
A native of Muskegon, Michigan, Ambassador Beyrle received a Bachelor of Arts in French with honors from Grand Valley State Colleges in 1975, and a master’s degree as a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College, where he later taught as a Visiting Professor of National Security Studies. His foreign languages are Bulgarian, Czech, French, German and Russian.
Beyrle is married to Jocelyn Greene, a fellow Foreign Service Officer. They have two daughters, Alison and Caroline.