U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan: Who Is George Krol?
George A. Krol was nominated by President Barack Obama to be ambassador to Kazakhstan on May 1, 2014. If confirmed by the Senate, it will be the third ambassadorial post for the career Foreign Service officer.
Krol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1956, and raised in Manchester Township, New Jersey, the youngest of three sons of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony J. Krol. He attended St. Peter’s Preparatory School in Jersey City, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in History, magna cum laude, at Harvard University. At Oxford University in England he received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Krol taught at the National War College, and joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1982, taking assignments for the State Department in India, Poland and the Ukraine. In 1991, he was the U.S. consul in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). From 1993 to 1995, he served as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Minsk, Belarus. Between 1995 and 1997, he was special assistant to the Ambassador-at-Large for the New Independent States, and from 1997 to 1999 he served as director of the Office of Russian Affairs—both positions based in Washington, D.C.
In 1999, Krol was named minister-counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, a post he held through 2002. The following year he was appointed U.S. ambassador to Belarus, a position he held through 2006.
In April 2007, President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate Krol to be the U.S. ambassador to Turkmenistan, but he was never confirmed, although the reasons are unclear. Krol subsequently served as deputy assistantsSecretary for South and Central Asian Affairs. Among his responsibilities was engaging in direct consultation with Uzbek government officials.
Krol was nominated to be ambassador to Uzbekistan in July 2010 and assumed the post about a year later. While there, he has taken criticism from human rights groups in the country for deferring to the regime of Islam Karimov, under which there are frequent rights violations, including forced labor of its citizens, and little freedom of expression. However, Uzbekistan has been a vital part of the U.S. supply train to American forces in Afghanistan.
Krol is married to Melissa Welch.
-Danny Biederman, Steve Straehley
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