Howard Solomon

Primary office:


PhD SLL 1997, Russian literature

Religion and Philosophy in Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita: Roots in the Silver Age and Pavel Florenskii's Writings. Defended 1997 (Chair: Maria M. Carlson). 2007-09 served as Senior Political Officer and then Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Russian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Since April 2009, Director for Russia, National Security Council. (10/2009)

Career: Since 1997, Howard Solomon served as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, with assignments in Seoul, South Korea; Moscow; Washington; and Vienna, Austria. From 2009-2010 he served at the White House on the National Security Staff (National Security Council) as Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs. From 2010 to 2015, he served as Deputy Minister Counselor and then Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. As of September 2015, he serves as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Languages: Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, Korean, German, French

Countries lived in: Soviet Union, South Korea, Russia, Austria, U.S.

Favorite place: Vienna, Austria

Favorite food: Sauteed scallops

Favorite drink: Wiener melange followed by a nice glass of Blauer Frankisch wine

Favorite saying: Лучше один раз увидеть, чем сто раз услышать 'Better to see it once than hear about it a hundred times'

Favorite book: Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita

In Memoriam

Reed Rankin ✝ 12/29/2019

The faculty and students in the Department Slavic Languages and Literatures are deeply saddened that one our undergraduate majors, Reed Rankin, passed away last week (12/29) in Fredonia, Kansas. Reed was a beloved student in the department and is fondly remembered by his peers and professors. He began studying Russian as a Freshman and stayed with a challenging but rewarding language for three and a half years, tackling introductory, intermediate, advanced levels, and even continuing his studies into his senior year with Russian for the Professions. We know that he was planning further study in Moscow in the next academic year, prior to matriculation at KU School of Law.

A thoughtful student, Reed often contributed insight and posed challenging questions in class. ​​ Reed’s dedication to the study of Russian language, culture, and history was tremendous and fueled by infectious curiosity. He showed great acumen in translating from Russian into English, always finding English-language equivalents for Russian cultural concepts through skillful use of one-liners from American films. We also treasured his ability to speak in fluid Russian about rural, farm life in Kansas, and the effects that natural phenomena, like floods, on a farming community. He was a pleasure to know and teach, and will be remembered for his kind and polite demeanor. Our thoughts are with Reed’s family at this time


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