Photo of Ross Wilson

Ross Wilson

Bigelow Teacher-in-Residence in Political Science, Political Science and International Relations

Education & Professional History

University of Minnesota, BA; Columbia University, MA; US National War College, MA

Ambassador Ross Wilson arrived in early 2020 to take up duties as Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Over the course of four decades as an American diplomat, he has served as ambassador to Azerbaijan in 2000-03 and to Turkey in 2005-08, and he held later assignments as chargé d’affaires in Turkey (2014) and the Republic of Georgia (2018-19).

Elsewhere with the US Foreign Service overseas, Ambassador Wilson served at the American embassies in Moscow and Prague and he was consul general in Melbourne, Australia. He was principal deputy to the ambassador-at-large and special advisor to the Secretary of State for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union in 1997-2000. He also served as deputy executive secretary of the State Department; chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick; chief US negotiator for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (while on detail to the Office of the US Trade Representative); and in the State Department’s offices dealing with the USSR and Egypt.

Outside government, Ambassador Wilson has held positions as a visiting lecturer in international affairs at George Washington University, chair of the Board of Directors of Global Minnesota (a World Affairs Council-affiliate based in Minneapolis/St. Paul), chair of the Board of Governors of the Institute of Turkish Studies, and as a member of advisory councils for the Eurasia Foundation and American Voices. From 2010 to 2014, Ambassador Wilson was director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, where he led Council work on Turkey, the former Soviet states, and regional energy, economic, and political issues and integration. He remains a distinguished senior fellow (currently on leave of absence) with the Atlantic Council. He begins at Carleton in May 2021.

Ambassador Wilson received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and master’s degrees from Columbia University and the US National War College. He is a recipient of the president’s Meritorious Service Award, as well as numerous Department of State awards and honors. He holds memberships in the Academy of American Diplomacy, the American Foreign Service Association, Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He is married to Margo Squire, also a veteran of the US Foreign Service, and lives in western Wisconsin.

March 2021

At Carleton since 2021.

Current Courses

  • Spring 2023
    POSC 201: Statecraft and the Tools of National Power