For La Follette School students, faculty, and staff only
A former U.S. ambassador to Greece and Belarus, Daniel Speckhard (MA '82) has had a long and distinguished career in service to the United States and communities around the world.
Since 2014, Speckhard has served as president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, an international development and relief organization working in more than 30 countries to reduce poverty, alleviate suffering, and promote justice.
An innovator and transformational leader, Speckhard started his career in government service after receiving a Presidential Management Fellowship – a two-year training program that builds leadership skills and offers experience across functional areas, offices and in some cases different agencies.
During his nearly three decades in public service, Speckhard spent 13 years overseas, building a deep understanding of the world. This included two years as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and head of reconstruction (2005–07), three years as ambassador to Belarus (1997–00), and three years as ambassador to Greece (2007–10).
Speckhard began his career in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and joined the U.S. Department of State in 1990. After serving as ambassador to Belarus, he joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), where he led the directorate responsible for strengthening peace in Europe by brining seven new members into the alliance and managing the relationship with Russia. He received the NATO Service Medal for his contribution to peacebuilding in the Balkans.
In 2006, Speckhard returned to the State Department, first as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bagdad, Iraq, and then as ambassador to Greece. He joined Lutheran World Relief after almost three years as a senior advisor to Palantir Technologies, a Silicon Valley company at the forefront of using technology to drive innovative change across the government, commercial, and nonprofit sectors.
In addition to his master’s degree in public policy and administration, Speckhard has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in economics from UW–Madison. He was born in Clintonville, Wisconsin, and graduated from Wausau West High School.