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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 30, 1997

The President today announced his intent to nominate James Franklin Collins, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, as Ambassador to the Russian Federation.

Mr. Collins, of Aurora, Illinois, currently serves as Ambassador-at-Large and Special Advisor to the Secretary for the New Independent States in the Department of State. He assumed that position after two years of service as Senior Coordinator in the Office of the Ambassador-at-Large for the New Independent States and a three-year tour as Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Moscow. Prior to his Moscow assignment, Mr. Collins held management positions in the Department of State in Washington and worked extensively on Russian/Soviet and on Middle East affairs. In addition to one other posting in Moscow, he served as Political Counselor in Amman, Jordan and as Vice Consul in Izmir, Turkey. Mr. Collins's Washington assignments have included tours on the staff of the Secretary of State as Deputy Executive Secretary for Europe and Latin America and as Director of the State Department's Operations Center. He has also served as a member of the National Security Council staff as Director for Intelligence Policy, and held positions in the Department of State in the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, Bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs and Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Mr. Collins holds several Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State. He was awarded the Secretary of State's Award for Distinguished Service in January 1993 and the Department's Distinguished Honor Award in October 1993.

Before joining the Department of State, Mr. Collins taught Russian and European History at the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds a cum laude A.B. degree from Harvard University (1961) and an M.A. from Indiana University (1964), and conducted research as an exchange fellow at Moscow University in 1965 and at the British Museum in London in 1966. Mr. Collins has been married for 32 years to Dr. Naomi F. Collins, presently Executive Director at NAFSA, an association of international educators, headquartered in Washington. They have two grown sons, Robert and Jonathan.