The World Food Prize Foundation

2017 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Amb. James Collins

U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (1997-2001)

Ambassador James F. Collins is an expert on Russia and on the former Soviet Union and its successor states.  Ambassador Collins was the U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation from 1997 to 2001, served as ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the Secretary of State for the newly independent states in the mid-1990s and was deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Moscow from 1990 to 1993. In addition to three diplomatic postings in Moscow, he also held positions at the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan, the consulate general in Izmir, Turkey, and the Department of State and White House in Washington.
After retirement from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2001, he worked with as senior adviser at the law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP.  Since 2007 he has been Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 
Ambassador Collins has been active on the boards of nonprofit organizations concerned with U.S. foreign policy and U.S. relations with Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. He has served as a member of the board of the U.S.-Russia Foundation, the U.S.-Russia Business Council, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Open World Leadership Center, and American Councils for International Education.
He is the recipient of several awards including, the Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service; the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award; the Secretary of State’s Award for Career Achievement; the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service; the NASA Medal for Distinguished Service, and the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.
Before joining the State Department, Ambassador Collins taught Russian and European history, American government, and economics at the U.S. Naval Academy.  Ambassador Collins is married to Dr. Naomi Collins, the author of “Through Dark Days and White Nights: Four Decades of Observing a Changing Russia.  They have two sons.

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