Conrad Turner comes to CPD from Ukraine, where he served with the U.S. Mission as Counselor for Public Affairs during the reform era following the Revolution of Dignity. Before that he headed the Public Affairs section at the U.S. embassy in Iraq. Other Foreign Service assignments have taken him to Serbia, Croatia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Austria, Russia, and Belarus. As Deputy Director, Public Diplomacy in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, he controlled resources for PD programs in the Americas.
Conrad’s entrée to PD was as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, where he worked with village rice farmers. Later, as an Exhibit Guide with the U.S. Information Agency in the early days of glasnost, he debated current events and American society with hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens. It was this experience more than any that shaped the views on public diplomacy and communications he holds to this day.
Before joining the Foreign Service, Conrad was a member of the beltway bandit team that created the Transitional Immigrant Visa Processing Center (now the National Visa Center in Portsmouth, NH), worked as a programmer and Soviet refugee Case Specialist, and translated for PBS documentaries and author Hedrick Smith.
His Bachelor’s in History is from Haverford College. At Bryn Mawr College, Conrad fell in love with the poetry of Pushkin, taught at Haverford, and wrote his Master's thesis on the Statement-of-Fact Imperfective in Modern Russian. Conrad also studied French at Université Laval in Quebec, Russian at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow, and trumpet at Northwestern University’s School of Music.
Conrad is a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor. He has attained fluency in Russian, Serbian/Croatian, French, and Sierra Leone Krio. He is recipient of five individual Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, Senior Performance Awards, a Meritorious Step Increase, and the ICASS Outstanding Leadership Award for interagency management. Conrad is also a runner, cyclist, and guitarist and plays a Taylor 816ce acoustic. He is married to Susanne Turner. Their daughter Anna is a Pomona alumna now at Google, and daughter Maria is U. Penn Class of 2020 studying Engineering.