While at Duke, Ambassador Matlock is teaching two courses that draw connections between history and the current geopolitical climate – Leadership in International Relations and The End of the Cold War and After – and lecturing on U.S.-Russian relations in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2016 and 2017 as part of the Duke in Russia summer program. Matlock also delivers remarks across campus and outside of Duke, and engages with students, scholars, journalists, and policymakers.
Matlock is also spending a significant amount of time preparing his papers from his years in the Foreign Service for archival. This collection includes correspondence, diaries and journals, appointment books, daily notes, meeting notes, sound recordings, photographs, publications files, teaching files, personal files, and research archives. These materials, which represent a unique and substantial record of U.S.-Soviet relations during the waning years of the Cold War, will be donated to Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library for the public to access.
One of America’s most accomplished diplomats, Jack Matlock served in the American Foreign Service from 1956 to 1991, including as Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and Senior Director for European and Soviet Affairs on the National Security Council Staff from 1983 until 1986, and Ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1981 to 1983.
Jack Matlock, the former US Ambassador to the USSR from 1987 to 1991, gives an address at the Union League Club of Chicago titled, Russia Under Putin: How to Work With Him.
Director of the Program on U.S.-Russia Relations, Kimberly Marten interviews Ambassador Jack F. Matlock on his most memorable experiences while serving as ambassador. (Credit: Harriman Institute at Columbia University)
Panel Discussion with President Vladimir Putin and Ambassador Jack Matlock at Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi. Click on the link below to skip directly to Ambassador Matlock's talk or click on the video image to see the entire discussion panel's presentation.
Note: Actual talk begins at 2min55sec.
from left to right: Abigail Probert, Edna Andrews, William J. Morgan, Jack F. Matlock, Alex Haas, Tonya Guliakova
During his 35 years in the American Foreign Service (1956-1991), Jack Matlock served as Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for European and Soviet Affairs on the National Security Council Staff from 1983 until 1986, and Ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1981 to 1983.
Before his appointment to Moscow as Ambassador, Mr. Matlock served three tours at the American Embassy in the Soviet Union between 1961 and 1981. His other Foreign Service assignments were in Vienna, Munich, Accra, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, in addition to tours in Washington as Director of Soviet Affairs in the State Department (1971-74) and as Deputy Director of the Foreign Service Institute (1979-80). Before entering the Foreign Service Mr. Matlock was Instructor in Russian Language and Literature at Dartmouth College (1953-56). During the 1978-79 academic year he was Visiting Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University.
Since his retirement from the Foreign Service in 1991, he has held academic posts at Columbia University, Princeton University, Hamilton College, Mt. Holyoke College and the Institute for Advanced Study, where he was George F. Kennan Professor from 1996 to 2001.
He is the author of Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray--And How to Return to Reality (Yale University Press, 2010); Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended (Random House, 2004, paperback edition 2005); Autopsy on an Empire: The American Ambassador’s Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union (Random House, 1995); Leskov into English: On Translating Соборяне (Church Folks), Columbia University, 2013, and a handbook to the thirteen-volume Russian edition of Stalin’s Collected Works (Washington, D.C. 1955, 2nd edition, New York, 1971).
Mr. Matlock was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, on October 1, 1929, and was educated at Duke University (AB, summa cum laude, 1950) and at Columbia University (MA and Certificate of the Russian Institute, 1952, PhD, 2013). He has been awarded honorary doctorates by four institutions including the Latvian Academy of Sciences. In addition to the books noted, he maintains a blog at www.JackMatlock.com and is the author of numerous articles on foreign policy, international relations, and Russian literature and history.
He and his wife, the former Rebecca Burrum, divide their time between Booneville, Tennessee, and Durham, North Carolina. They have five children and three grandchildren.