Mark D. Simakovsky serves as Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia (E&E) at USAID, with a portfolio supporting E&E programs on democracy, development and governance, as well as overseeing regional and bilateral programs for Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. Mr. Simakovsky is the Bureau lead on Ukraine and Russia policy and represents E&E in the interagency, Congress and the Administration on Ukraine and Russia-related issues.
Mr. Simakovsky brings over 15 years of national security experience in the private sector and the U.S. government, including work at the State Department, Department of Defense, and Congress, focused on U.S. national security challenges in Europe and Eurasia. Most recently, Mr. Simakovsky was Senior Vice President at Beacon Global Strategies, a national security consulting firm in Washington, DC from 2015-2021. He was also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center from 2015-2021.
Prior to his recent work in the private sector, Mr. Simakovsky spent a decade in government across two administrations. His work at the Pentagon from 2007-2015 helped shepherd U.S. defense policy in Europe and Eurasia through a turbulent period. He served as the Europe/NATO Chief of Staff in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) for Policy, where he played a key role developing and implementing U.S. deterrence and reassurance measures in Europe in the wake of Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine. Prior to this position, he was the Russia Country Director in OSD Policy, where he helped lead the Department’s response to the 2014 Ukraine crisis and drafted the Department’s post-conflict strategy for Russia.
In 2013, Mr. Simakovsky was a Brookings congressional national security fellow in the office of Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). From 2012-2013, Mr. Simakovsky served as the inaugural Ronald D. Asmus Non-Resident Policy Entrepreneur Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, traveling throughout Europe and publishing a NATO enlargement study. Mr. Simakovsky also served in the Pentagon as the Eurasia Strategy Advisor/NATO Coordinator from 2011-2012 and the Country Director for Georgia/Moldova from 2007-2011. In the latter position, he led the Pentagon’s response to Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia. Mr. Simakovsky began his government service in 2006 as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of Russian Affairs, Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs, Department of State.
Mr. Simakovsky is a recipient of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service and was a finalist for the 2010 U.S. Federal Government “Emerging Leaders Call to Service Medal” for his work on supporting U.S. engagement in Georgia. He was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Simakovsky graduated from Georgetown University with a Masters in Science in Foreign Service (magna cum laude) and earned a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude) in diplomacy and foreign affairs from Miami University (Oxford). While at Georgetown, he was a foreign language and area studies fellow in Russian, completed language training at St. Petersburg State University and traveled to Georgia on a Georgetown grant. He returned to live in Georgia as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar from 2005-2006. He speaks Russian.