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Name: Polt, Michael
Current Position: Ambassador

Michael C. Polt was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Estonia on November 30, 2009.

Born in Austria, Polt immigrated to the United States when he was 15 years old and settled with his family in Tennessee. He earned his bachelor’s degree from American International College and, in 1977, his M.S. in Public Administration at the University of Tennessee.
Like his father, Polt joined the Foreign Service. His early postings were to U.S. embassies and consulates in Bonn and Bremen, Germany; Mexico City, Mexico; and Copenhagen, Denmark. He served as Political Counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Panama City in advance of Operation Just Cause, the United States’ 1989 invasion of Panama to remove General Manuel Noriega from power.
From 1993 to 1994, Polt was Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. At the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires.
At the U.S. Department of State, Polt worked as Deputy Director for European Security and Arms Control. He also held the post of Senior Advisor to the Director General of the Foreign Service for Management Reform. As a member of the Senior Management Steering Board, Polt oversaw the revamp, between 2003 and 2005, of the Board’s Diplomatic Communications System.
Between May 21, 2004 and August 3, 2007, Polt held the positions of U.S. Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro, including the transition to Montenegrin independence in 2006. Polt also had the difficult task of promoting U.S. support for the independence of Kosovo while at the same time not alienating the Serbs. Six months after Polt left Belgrade, an angry mob set fire to the U.S. embassy.
By this time, Polt was safely back in the U.S. in the position of Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
From August 2008 to 2009, during the transition period between the Bush and Obama Administrations, Polt served as Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in charge of the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs.
Polt’s wife Hallie is a State Department Information Management Specialist. They met while attending an international high school in Düsseldorf, Germany. They have a son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Lindsay. Polt’s sister is also a member of the Foreign Service.
Official Bio (Department of State)
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