Jack Matlock is a career diplomat who served on the front lines of American diplomacy during the Cold War. During his 35 years in the American Foreign Service (1956-1991), he 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, Ambassador 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, he was Instructor in Russian Language and Literature at Dartmouth College and a Visiting Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University.