Ambassador James F. Collins is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Endowment. He is an expert on the former Soviet Union, its successor states, and the Middle East. Collins was the U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation from 1997 to 2001. Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment in 2007, he served as senior adviser at the public law and policy practice group at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP.
Before his appointment as ambassador to Russia, he served as ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the Secretary of State for the newly independent states in the mid-1990s and as 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.
He is the recipient of 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; and the NASA Medal for Distinguished Service.
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.
Before joining the State Department, Collins taught Russian and European history, American government, and economics at the U.S. Naval Academy. Collins received an honorary Ph.D., M.A., and Area Studies Certificate from Indiana University.