Jeff Levine was nominated by President Obama as the next U.S. Ambassador to Estonia on Feb. 17, 2012 and confirmed by the Senate on March 29, 2012. He presented his credentials to Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on September 17, 2012. He concluded this tour as Ambassador on September 27, 2015.
At the time of his nomination, he had been the State Department’s director of Recruitment, Examination and Employment since September 2010. Prior to this position, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission/Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary from 2007-2010.
Joining the Foreign Service in 1985, he is a member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor. In addition to his assignment in Hungary, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Sofia, Bulgaria and has also been posted to Brasilia, Brazil; Nicosia, Cyprus; Alexandria, Egypt; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Lima, Peru. At the Department of State, he served in the Operations Center, as desk officer for Hungary and as a special assistant to the Under Secretary for Management. He has received numerous Department of State awards as well as the Golden Laurel Medal, presented by the Government of Bulgaria.
Prior to joining the Department of State, he worked as a newspaper reporter for seven years and was a founding staff member of USA TODAY, one of the largest newspapers in the United States. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Humboldt and a Master’s degree in Resource Strategy from the National Defense University in Washington D.C. He has studied Spanish, Portuguese, Bulgarian and Hungarian.
He is married to Janie L. Keeler and has a son, Nick, who is a college student in California.