Melvyn Levitsky was featured in a recent Christian Science Monitor article on whether former Utah governor and Obama-era ambassador to China Jon Huntsman would be an effective choice as the U.S. ambassador to Russia.
The article, titled “Jon Huntsman: What would he bring as U.S. ambassador to Russia?” highlights the need for an ambassador that is up for the daunting assignment of representing American interests to an important government at a time when Congress and the current administration are not aligned in how to pursue those interests.
“If it’s Jon Huntsman, then I think the U.S. ambassador there could have a significant role," says Levitsky, a former ambassador and career diplomat. "He knows what an ambassador is, he’s a smart fellow," Huntsman’s influence may hinge, however, on the extent to which he can influence the president. “If the ambassador has the president at his back… the Russians will listen to the ambassador," says Levitsky. "If he doesn’t, they’ll ignore him."
Melvyn Levitsky is a professor of international policy and practice at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and a retired career minister in the U.S. Foreign Service. He spent 35 years as a U.S. diplomat, including as ambassador to Brazil, executive secretary of the State Department, ambassador to Bulgaria, and deputy assistant secretary of state for human rights.