Written by Ashton Snyder on
 March 7, 2024

Victoria Nuland Resigns From Position In Blow To Biden Administration

The imminent retirement of Victoria Nuland, a stalwart of U.S. diplomacy known for her firm stance against Russia, is making waves across the political and diplomatic communities.

According to The Associated Press, Victoria Nuland, who held the third-highest ranking position within the U.S. Department of State, will step down this month. 

This announcement by the State Department signals the end of an illustrious career that spanned decades and was marked by key roles in shaping U.S. foreign policy, especially towards Eastern Europe and Russia.

Nuland's career trajectory is a testament to her dedication and impact on international relations. After initially retiring following Donald Trump's election, Nuland made a significant return to public service under the Biden administration as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Her candidacy to succeed Wendy Sherman as Deputy Secretary of State and her subsequent role as acting deputy underscored her prominence within the department and the broader diplomatic community.

A Career Defined by Commitment to Ukraine and Stance Against Russia

Her tenure in government is highlighted by critical moments that defined U.S. foreign policy. During the Obama administration, as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Nuland became synonymous with the U.S. response to the crisis in Ukraine, particularly following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Her defense of Ukraine's sovereignty and her efforts to marshal international support in the face of Russian aggression have been significant aspects of her legacy.

This legacy was further emphasized by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who lauded Nuland's leadership on Ukraine as a cornerstone of her career. Blinken's praise reflects the high regard in which Nuland is held for her role in confronting the challenges posed by Russia's actions in Ukraine, demonstrating the depth of her commitment to the principles of democracy and international law.

The reaction from Russia to Nuland's retirement has been predictably critical, with the Russian foreign ministry attributing her departure to the perceived failures of the U.S.'s Russia policy. This criticism, however, underscores the impact of Nuland's work in shaping U.S. policy towards Russia, reflecting the contentious nature of U.S.-Russia relations during her tenure.

Nuland's Legacy and the Future of U.S. Diplomacy

Nuland's experience in Moscow during the 1990s, her tenure as U.S. ambassador to NATO, and her role as the State Department spokeswoman under Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton have all contributed to a career characterized by its depth and breadth. Her encounters with Russian officials, including a notable interaction with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, recounted by John Kerry, highlight the challenging dynamics she navigated in advocating for U.S. interests.

Her departure is pivotal, with Kurt Campbell recently taking office as the Deputy Secretary of State following President Joe Biden's nomination. Nuland's role in the interim period, acting in the capacity left vacant by Wendy Sherman's retirement, marked a critical phase in the Department's leadership transition.

The temporary appointment of John Bass as under-secretary and the speculation around Julianne Smith, the current U.S. ambassador to NATO, as Nuland's permanent successor, suggests the ongoing evolution of the Department's leadership. These transitions are occurring against the backdrop of complex global challenges, highlighting the importance of experienced diplomatic leadership.


Victoria Nuland's retirement marks the end of a significant chapter in U.S. diplomacy. Her contributions, spanning six presidents and ten secretaries of state, have left an indelible mark on the country's foreign policy landscape, particularly about Ukraine and Russia.

Her leadership and dedication to confronting global challenges have been pivotal, shaping the direction of U.S. diplomacy in an increasingly complex international arena. As the Department of State transitions to new leadership, Nuland's legacy will undoubtedly continue to influence U.S. foreign policy and diplomatic efforts for years to come.

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About Ashton Snyder

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