Dean Rusk International Studies Program welcomes Former U.S. Ambassadors Marie Yovanovitch and Eric Rubin.

Marie Yovanovitch served three times as U.S. Ambassador, most recently in Kyiv as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Previously, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic (2005-2008) and the Republic of Armenia (2008-2011). She retired from the Foreign Service in 2020 and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a non-Resident Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.

Ambassador Yovanovitch earned the Senior Foreign Service Performance Award eight times and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award on nine occasions. She is the recipient of two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and the Secretary’s Diplomacy in Human Rights Award. Following her retirement, Ambassador Yovanovitch received the Trainor Award for Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy from Georgetown University, the inaugural Richard G. Lugar Award from Indiana University, the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award from Pen/America, the Morgenthau Award from the Armenian Assembly of America, the American Spirit Award for Distinguished Public Service from the Common Good, and the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government. 

In early 2022, Marie Yovanovitch’s memoir, Lessons From The Edge, was an instant New York Times bestseller. The late Madeleine Albright called the book “A brilliant, engaging, and inspiring memoir from one of America’s wisest and most courageous diplomats—essential reading for current policymakers, aspiring public servants, and anyone who cares about America’s role in the world.”  

Eric Rubin was elected to serve as the President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) after his recent posting as U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria (2016-2019).

 Joining the Foreign Service in 1985 after graduating from Yale, he started as a political and human rights officer in Honduras (1985-1988). In 1989 he was assigned to the State Department’s Operations Center. From 1989 to 1991 he worked in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs where he monitored and reported on the collapse of the Soviet Union. Next, he served as the security affairs officer for Central and Eastern Europe.

He left Washington in 1994 for Kiev, Ukraine as Deputy Political Counselor. While there he was a recipient of AFSA’s William R. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent by Mid-Level Officers for his work on the Bosnia crisis.

In 1996 he returned to Washington to work for the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs. From 1997-1998, he served as an Assistant White House Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs and in 1998 he was the special assistant to Ambassador Thomas Pickering—then the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. For 1999-2000 Ambassador Rubin was a Rusk Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University where he enjoyed teaching about diplomacy.

In 2001 he was posted to Chiang Mai, Thailand as Consul General. In 2004 he returned to Washington as the director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In 2006 he served as the executive assistant to R. Nicholas Burns—the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs at the time. From 2008 to 2011 he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Moscow. From 2011 to 2015 he served as a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.