Chief Political Advisor to the Commander, NATO Joint Force Command Headquarters, Brunssum Defence and Security Committee Meeting

Sunday 30 May 2010


Mr. Segal serves as the principal foreign policy and political advisor to the Joint Force Commander, a German four-star General.   The command has the mission of conducting all NATO military operations in Afghanistan  and the planning of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) campaign.  He has travelled frequently to Afghanistan since 2002, meeting with senior Afghan, ISAF, US and other NATO officials.

Mr. Segal was born in Philadelphia   , USA.  After attending Penn State University for a year, in 1965 he joined the US Army.  After a year of enlisted service, he was commissioned through Infantry OCS in September 1966.  Following parachute training, he was assigned as a 2d Lieutenant to the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in Dau Tieng, Vietnam, serving there through the Tet Offensive.  He volunteered for a second Vietnam tour with the 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi where he was promoted to Captain.  Among his Vietnam awards were the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal.

Mr. Segal received a B.A. degree in International Relations from Boston   University in 1971.  He returned to the Army inGermany, serving in various command and staff officer positions and was promoted to Major in 1975.  Simultaneously, he received an M.A. degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California ’s German Program and was named “Distinguished Graduate.”

In 1977, Mr. Segal resigned his Army commission to join the U.S.   diplomatic service as a Foreign Service Officer.  Initially, he served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.  In 1981, he was sent to Botswanaas Political / Economic officer. In 1983 he was assigned to Athens as Political / Military Affairs officer where he participated in U.S.-Greek base negotiations.  In 1985 he joined the Office of Soviet Union Affairs as the action officer for the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START).  He became the State Department representative to the U.S. START delegation at Geneva in 1986 where he played a key role in reaching agreement with the USSR to establish Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers inWashington and Moscow.

In 1988, Mr. Segal was selected as Chief of Political / Military Affairs in Tel Aviv, serving there through the first Intifada and the Gulf War until July 1991.   He then returned to the U.S.  for Russian language training, after which he was assigned in 1992 to Moscow with responsibility for implementing strategic and WMD arms control and chemical weapons destruction agreements.

In December 1993, he and his wife, Karen Puschel, were selected to establish a new United States Consulate General inYekaterinburg   , Russia, with responsibility for the Urals and western Siberia – an area encompassing forty million people.  He was named the first U.S. Consul General to central Russia in March 1994.  A year later, their accomplishment – which included multi-million dollar contracts for US firms and the first Internet access for university students in Siberia – was cited by President Clinton as “a significant step forward in US-Russian relations.”  In September 1995, he returned to Washingtonas Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Lynn Davis.

In 1998, he joined the National Security Council at the White House as Director for Russia   , Ukraine and Eurasia and was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Counsellor.  Concurrently, he served on the White House Kosovo working group.  In June 1999, he became NSC Director for Non-proliferation.  Mr. Segal accepted his NATO appointment in May 2000.   He received four Superior Honor Awards and three Meritorious Honor Awards during his State Department career.

Mr. Segal is an avid (if rather slow) speed skater.   His wife, Karen, herself a former U.S.  diplomat and Council on Foreign Relations scholar, is actively supporting charitable activities in Afghanistan.  Their daughter, Maya attends The Pathfinder School in Traverse City, Michigan.  She speaks Dutch fluently, plays the violin beautifully and is a joy to behold.