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.
Amb. Beyrle received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from President Obama, and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award during the administration of George W. Bush. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented him with the Distinguished Service Award, the State Department's highest honor. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2012 as a Career Minister.