Amb. John Beyrle was elected Chairman of the U.S. Russia Foundation in October 2018. Prior to this, he served as an American diplomat for three decades in a career focused on the Soviet Union and Russia, and Central and Eastern Europe. He served as ambassador to Bulgaria (2005-08), and to Russia (2008-12). During the latter assignment, Amb. Beyrle helped foster improved U.S.-Russian relations, highlighted by the signing of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty.