The Senate confirmed James S. “Jim” Gilmore III as U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation on May 23, 2019. He was sworn in as Ambassador on June 25, 2019. Gilmore was the 68th Governor of Virginia (1998-2002). He grew up in Richmond, Virginia and in 1971, he enlisted as a volunteer in the U.S. Army after college and worked as a counter-intelligence agent in then-West Germany after intensive language training in German, in which he became fluent. In 1974, Gilmore was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for Service to NATO. After serving his country and receiving his law degree, Gilmore was elected as chief prosecutor for Henrico County and then Attorney General of Virginia in 1993. In 2003, Gilmore served as chairman of the Air Force Academy Board of Visitors. He was the chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2001 to 2002. Gilmore graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA) and earned a B.A. degree in International Relations, Russian Area Studies. He then earned his law degree at the UVA School of Law.
As Governor, he led extensive work in economic development including trade missions to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Gilmore has also traveled to Israel, Pakistan, Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, Australia, and Peru. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a frequent participant in the Center for the National Interest, and has lectured at the Potomac Institute on homeland security and terrorism issues.
From 1999 to 2003, Gilmore served as Chairman of the Congressional panel known as the “Gilmore Commission” to assess America’s capabilities to respond to a terrorist attack. He ran for the GOP nomination for president from July 2015 to February 2016. He most recently served as President and CEO of the American Opportunity Foundation, which works to shape the discussions around American society and offer conservative solutions that promise prosperity, national security, and American values. Since leaving office, he has served on eight corporate boards of directors. He is married to Roxane Gatling Gilmore and they have two adult sons.