Kurt Volker, former U.S. Special Representative to Ukraine, is stepping down as executive director of the McCain Institute.
His departure comes after his apparent role in efforts to get Ukraine to help with investigations into the Russian collusion hoax, as well as into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
“For the past seven and a half years, I have worked hard with Mrs. Cindy McCain, Arizona State University, and the McCain Institute’s first rate team of Trustees and staff, to build an Institute dedicated to advancing character-driven leadership and making difference in the real world on a wide range of issues,” Volker said in a statement released Monday.
“Today, I informed ASU President Crow and Mrs. McCain that I believe the recent media focus on my work as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations risks becoming a distraction from the accomplishments and continued growth of the Institute, and therefore I am stepping down as Executive Director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership. I know the Institute is well equipped with a first rate team of staff and Trustees to continue it’s progress in the future. I especially want to thank Cindy McCain and the McCain family for their selfless support of the institute.”
Cindy McCain, widow of Sen. McCain, said in an additional statement:
I want to thank Kurt Volker for his dedication and hard work in helping to build the McCain Institute into the results-driven, action-oriented institution that it is today. We are proud of these accomplishments and I especially appreciate his dedication to my husband and the entire McCain family.
McCain announced the Executive Committee of the Trustees has asked Fran Townsend to serve as Trustee Representative to the Institute to coordinate the transition to a new Executive Director.
In the meantime, Senior Director for National Security and Counterterrorism Programs and Professor of Practice at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Nick Rasmussen has been asked by ASU leadership to serve as Acting Executive Director pending selection of a new Executive Director, McCain announced.
The announcement came after Volker testified to the House last week, and Democrats leaked text messages that showed Volker had assisted Trump administration efforts to get Ukraine to agree to help with the investigations.
Volker stepped down shortly before that from his role as special envoy to Ukraine. He began that volunteer position in 2017.
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