PHOENIX — Kurt Volker has resigned as the executive director of Arizona State University's McCain Institute for International Leadership, according to a press release issued to The State Press by ASU Monday morning.
"ASU is grateful for his service guiding this important university initiative," the press release continued.
Volker's resignation comes shortly after President Donald Trump admittedly asked Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Volker served as the U.S. envoy for Ukraine until September 27, 2019.
According to the press release obtained by The State Press, Nicholas Rasmussen will serve as the acting executive director of the McCain Institute. Rasmussen currently serves as the senior director for national security and counterterrorism programs at the McCain Institute.
"Volker will be on paid administrative leave from his other university duties until further notice," the press release concluded.
Volker released a statement on the McCain Institute's website, stating:
“For the past seven and a half years, I have worked hard with Mrs. Cindy McCain, Arizona State University and the McCain Institute’s first rate team of trustees and staff to build an Institute dedicated to advancing character-driven leadership and making difference in the real world on a wide range of issues. Today, I informed ASU President Crow and Mrs. McCain that I believe the recent media focus on my work as the U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations risks becoming a distraction from the accomplishments and continued growth of the Institute, and therefore, I am stepping down as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership. I know the Institute is well equipped with a first rate team of staff and trustees to continue its progress in the future. I especially want to thank Cindy McCain and the McCain family for their selfless support of the institute.”
Cindy McCain also released a statement, saying:
“I want to thank Kurt Volker for his dedication and hard work in helping to build the McCain Institute into the results-driven, action-oriented institution that it is today. We are proud of these accomplishments, and I especially appreciate his dedication to my husband and the entire McCain family. The executive committee of the trustees has asked Fran Townsend to serve as trustee representative to the Institute to coordinate the transition to a new executive director. Senior Director for National Security and Counterterrorism Programs and Professor of Practice at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Nick Rasmussen has been asked by ASU leadership to serve as acting executive director pending selection of a new executive director. Rasmussen joined the Institute in May 2018 after a distinguished career in government service, working in senior national security positions under both Democratic and Republican administrations.”