William Courtney is an adjunct senior fellow at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation, and was executive director of the RAND Business Leaders Forum. He cochairs the international advisory council of the America250 Foundation, the nonprofit executive arm of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission. Its purpose is to inspire and facilitate commemorations of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States in 1776 and to oversee national signature commemorations.
In 2014, Ambassador Courtney retired from Computer Sciences Corporation as senior principal for federal policy strategy. From 1972 through 1999 he was a foreign service officer in the Department of State. He served as ambassador to Kazakhstan, Georgia, and the U.S.-Soviet Bilateral Consultative Commission to implement the Threshold Test Ban Treaty. He was special assistant to the president for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia; deputy negotiator in the U.S.-Soviet Defense and Space Talks; deputy executive secretary of the NSC staff; and special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political affairs. He served abroad in Brasilia, Moscow, Geneva, Almaty, and Tbilisi.
Ambassador Courtney is chair-emeritus and a member of the board of trustees of Eurasia Foundation. It carries out programs abroad to improve governance and strengthen civil society. He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and was a member of its board of directors. He was a member of the board of directors of the former World Affairs Council of Washington D.C. He belongs to the Council on Foreign Relations, where in 1977–78 he was an international affairs fellow. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University and a B.A. in economics from West Virginia University.