In January 2014, the government of Turkey announced that Serdar Kılıç, a longtime member of the country’s foreign ministry, was to be the next ambassador to the United States. He arrived in Washington D.C. in April, 2014.
Kılıç was born March 28, 1958, in Samsun, a city in north-central Turkey on the Black Sea. He graduated from Ankara University’s political sciences department in 1980. Kılıç didn’t join the Foreign Ministry right away. His first professional job was in 1977 with Turkey’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture. In 1982 he took a position in the private sector as a director for Ekşioğlu Holding, a construction company.
Kılıç joined the Foreign Ministry in 1984 and was assigned to the Eastern Europe and Asia Department. His first overseas posting came in 1987 when he was named third secretary in Turkey’s embassy in Kuwait. Kılıç landed his first U.S. assignment in 1989 as assistant consul general in Los Angeles. He returned home in 1992 as second secretary and later first secretary in the ministry’s Gulf and Muslim Countries Department.
In 1993, Kılıç began a fairly long period with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), initially as first secretary in Turkey’s delegation to NATO. He returned to Ankara in 1997 as chief of section in the ministry’s Deputy General Directorate of NATO and Euro-Atlantic Security and Defense Affairs. In 1999, Kılıç was back in Turkey’s NATO delegation as a counselor. Kılıç returned to Turkey in 2003 as head of department for the Balkans and Central Europe desk. He was named deputy director general of NATO and Euro-Atlantic Security and Defense Affairs in 2006.
Kılıç’s first ambassadorial post came in 2008 when he was named envoy to Lebanon. While there, he worked to increase awareness of Lebanon’s ethnic Turkish population. He was brought home in 2010 to be secretary general of MGK, Turkey’s National Security Council. He was sent to Tokyo as ambassador in 2012, a post he held until being named to Washington.
Kılıç is married and has one son. He is the uncle of Çağatay Kılıç, Turkey’s Sports and Youth Minister.